Rene was born in Radley on Dec. 6, 1924, the son of Marcel Edward and Mercedes Canet Thuillez. He grew up on a farm in Pittsburg, speaking only French when he first began school.
After he graduated from high school, he entered the military service with the Army Air Force. In the Ninth Air Force, he flew 43 combat missions as a Tail Gunner in B-26 Marauders and was stationed in six foreign countries. He was a decorated veteran, including the Purple Heart, while flying with the 397th Bomb Group, 599th Squadron.
After his military service he attended the University of Kansas and Pittsburg State College.
Rene was united in marriage to Rowena Belle on Sept. 1, 1976 in Chanute. She survives, of the home.
He retired as plant maintenance engineer from Ash Grove Cement Plant after 35 years.
Along with his wife, Rowena, he is survived by his children, Darryl Thuillez, Wathena, David Thuillez, Bakersfield, Calif., Daniel Thuillez, Hutchinson, Denise Hochstein, Hutchinson, and Rebecca Thuillez,, Martindale, Texas; stepchildren, Shirley Williams, Texas, Charles Ozbun, West Melbourne, Fla., Edward Ozbun, Maize, and Joel Ozbun, Texas; 18 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren and nephews, Dale, Mike and Eddie.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a granddaughter, Angela S. Thuillez, a brother and a sister.
Funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday, May 22 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Chanute. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery.
The family will receive friends this evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Penwell-Gabel Johnson Chapel in Chanute.
Memorials in his name may be made to the Zion Lutheran Church of Chanute and may be left with the funeral home.