Shirley "Tiny" Riche
(February 21, 1938 - January 25, 2014 )


A mass of Christian Burial is scheduled at 1:00 p.m. Saturday February 1, 2014 at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Cottonport for Shirley Ann Riche’, 75, who passed away on January 25, 2014 after a long and valiant battle with cancer. Reverend José Robles-Sanchez, pastor of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church will officiate the service. Interment will be at Saint Mary’s Mausoleum in Cottonport. Visitation begins Saturday, at 9:00 a.m. at Escude Funeral Home of Cottonport with a recitation of the Rosary at 11:00 a.m.  

Shirley (‘Tiny’ to family and friends) was born in Evergreen, Louisiana to Grace St. Romain and Herman Riche on February 21, 1938 . She grew up on Riche Lane amongst a large family community, graduating from Evergreen High School . Shirley spent her younger adult life in Cottonport, raising children and teaching at St. Mary’s Catholic School . While in Cottonport, she was very active in the community, served as president of the Jaycee Jaynes organization, coached girls’ softball, and taught baton lessons. In 1972, she moved to Pineville and joined the Rapides Parish School Board system, teaching elementary classes during the day and attending Louisiana College during the evenings earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, magna com laude. While working for the Rapides Parish School Board, she advanced her education receiving her MBA and Plus 30. She worked her way up the ranks from elementary teacher, to assistant principle at Alma Red Wine then to principal at Tioga Elementary. She had an entrepreneur spirit! While teaching, she was a real estate agent, and a small business owner. After retiring from school system, she built a successful hotel business in Grand Isle, La.- Cajun Tide Beach Resort. Her warm, friendly, and kind reputation spread quickly and her hotel business thrived! After eight successful years, her health was beginning to decline so she sold her business and moved back to Pineville so she could be closer to family. Shirley had a passion for life, loved family and friends, and was most kind and generous. She had a fun-loving spirit that would light up a room. She enjoyed dancing, cooking Cajun dishes, and teaching the grandchildren how to fish. Often times she would invite guests into her home to sit at her table for a meal or two. She was a devout Catholic and member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. 

Shirley is preceded in death by parents Grace and Herman Riche, her brothers’ Joseph and Elliot Riche, and her granddaughter Erica Terrell. Ms. Riche’ is survived by her daughters, Lydia Cavaness of Lafayette, Cindy Cespiva and husband Brian of Pineville, Carolyn Ducote of Shreveport, and Wendy Hazelhurst of Dallas, Texas; sister Barbara Roberts and husband Charles, and sisters’ in law Genevieve Riche and Sandra Riche; grandchildren Heather Gravel, Jason Terrell, Brian Cespiva, Brandon Cespiva, Jordan Hazelhurst, and Braden Ducote; great grandchildren Landon Terrell, Myah Gravel, Ava Gravel, Gracelynn Shockley, Bella Blanchard; and a special friend, David Ducote. 

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to CHRISTUS Cabrini Hospice with special appreciation to Shannon, Nancy, and Brittany. To extend online condolences to the Riche family, please visit


Pelican footnote:  Shirley was a 1956 graduate and a participant of many EHS activities -  band, athletics, May Festival, etc.