While the community still mourns Howard “Fade” Pickens -- who on Thursday was the first person in Mississippi to die from complications caused by COVID-19 -- his wife and daughter still suffer from the virus and could use some help.
“My mom is still really sick,” Fade’s daughter Jamee said Friday. “She’s still not feeling well. I think my fever is going back up right now, but I’ve had a fever on and off for the past few days. I haven’t really had much of a cough or any trouble breathing, but the fever can just be exhausting.”
At age 63, Pickens himself suffered from COPD and was in a Slidell hospital intensive care unit fighting it when he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Fade” — so-called because of his phenomenal hair-cutting skills — opened the Fade 1 Barbershop in the Marketown Plaza in Bay St. Louis about eight years ago.
Over the years, he took the time to reach out to his younger clients and try to be a positive influence in their lives.
“He was a big role model in the community,” Jamee said.
Several of his friends and clients have posted tributes on his Facebook page.
“RIP to the most respected role model to all, and man that was always a great person to be around. Fade was an awesome person and one of my best friends. Always made you laugh,” Ash Khaled said.
“Was always a respect thing between us since he first started cutting my hair in the 9th grade,” according to Austin D. Alexander. “Over the years he became more like family and a man I always looked up to. Another good one gone too soon, you’ll forever be missed Mr. Howard. All the stories, laughs, and times we shared together will forever be remembered. Pops was always a good man and a great father, mentor, and public figure. Through all the years he cut my hair the bond was much more than that, he is a person that will forever have a place in my heart & he has always been proud of me every step of the way I’ve taken since high school. He taught me a lot and he will forever be missed.”
“He was very old school,” Jamee said. “He had a great smile and a great laugh.”
Fade was born in Birmingham, Ala., but grew up in Los Angeles.
“That’s where he met my mom,” Jamee said, “in California.”
Over the years, the family moved around a bit, living in Las Vegas, Slidell, then Prentiss, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina.
Eventually, they moved to Waveland, and Fade opened the family business.
Fade had five daughters, including Jamee and her little sister Ivianna. They still live with mom Brenda and Jamee’s seven-month-old daughter Ava.
Whether the business stays open is still up in the air, Jamee said, since the family is still reeling.
“My mom hasn’t made a decision yet,” she said. “I guess it just depends.”
In the meantime, James said, “My mom has to pay the shop bills, the shop note, the house note. My little sister, she’s graduating this year from high school.”
Family friend Archana Sharma is trying to help raise funds and get food together for the family, and started an account for them at https://mealtrain.com/9l4on5.
“We have neighbors and friends bringing us food and stuff,” Jamee said, but the family may need help with the funeral and other expenses.
Contributions can be made to Jamee’s PayPal account at https://www.paypal.me/jameebre
“Whatever people want to contribute, we will be appreciative,” she said. “We’re just thankful that people want to help.”