March 6, 1931 ~ November 9, 2011
Irie Wilmer Anderson was born on March 6, 1931 to Frank and Iner Anderson in Simmersport, Louisiana. Irie was the second of ten children and was Frank's "right-hand" in handling the families' farming and logging businesses.
At the age of 17, Irie was encouraged by his cousins Carroll and Shipley White to move to Beaumont, Texas to escape the arduous work of farming and logging. In 1952, Irie was inducted into the U.S. Army where he served in the Korean War. After being released from the Army, Irie relocated to Los Angeles, California adopting the name "Andy" from his Army pals, and to live with his uncle Penny D. Lee who was a U.S. Navy veteran from World War II.
It was in Los Angeles that his entrepreneurial spirit and the knowledge he acquired from his father as a young man enabled him to acquire his barbering license and open "Andy's Barbershop" located at Adams and Crenshaw. The barber shop became renowned because customers found out that a lot of elite African-American stars of show business and sports (such as Greg Morris, Elgin Baylor, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton and Lena Horne to name a few) would come to his shop for a hair cut, share the latest gossip, play cards and gamble in the back room!
In 1961, Irie married Dorothy McLiechey of Battle Creek, Michigan and had two children, Marcus Irie Anderson and Lorie Yvette Anderson. During his tenure in Los Angeles, Irie acquired his real estate brokers license. Even though "Andy's Barber Shop" was extremely successful, the L.A. riots caused him to move his family to Eugene, Oregon. Once in Eugene, Irie began barbering with Glen Larson.
With his brokers license and an unwavering entrepreneurial spirit, Irie opened a restaurant called "Little Big Horn." Although not as successful as his barber shop, Irie kept looking for more successful business opportunities which would eventually lead him to large land sales in and around Eugene, Oregon and eventually led him over-seas to Ghana, West Africa in 1972.
It was in West Africa that Irie was able to use his expertise in farming and irrigation to teach the citizens of the rural parts of Ghana and Togo about irrigation and the western methods of farming which enabled them to have the largest rice farms in their country.
Irie left Africa for two reasons: his mother's plea to return home and a political uprising developing between the tribes.
Upon his return to the states, Irie returned home to Louisiana and was motivated by the business opportunities in Arizona where he opened "Arizona Land Realty." Irie was always out to make a buck, and his motto was "Buy low…sell high!"
Irie had a quiet demeanor: he always spoke softly (whether passionate or upset). He wore a warm smile for loved ones, and a stone face for strangers or competitors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, loved the outdoors and wilderness, and especially loved his oatmeal, chicken and Archway oatmeal raisin cookies.
Irie leaves very warm and special memories to his children, Marcus Irie Anderson and Lorie Yvette Anderson (both of Riverside), his grandchildren Alicia Marie Anderson (Los Angeles), Robert Charles Anderson (Riverside, CA), Tamika Renee' Walker (Kansas City, MO), Andre' Miller and Lauren Nicole Miller (both of Tucson, AZ)., Great-grandchildren Amara Angel Molina and Taliyah Irie McCleary. Irie is also survived by his siblings: William Anderson, Octavia Lou Lilly, Lela Mae (Sharif) Anderson, Floyd Anderson and Willie Mae Fisher; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and a few friends.
Irie was preceded in death by his son Michael J. Meyers (1993), and his siblings Mamie Marie Anderson-Jones (2011), Jesse Anderson (2004), Frank "Tut" Anderson (2004), and Leon "Pee-Wee" Anderson (2007).
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