Joe RiceAshdown, AR, 1939 - 2019
On Thursday, Dec. 12, Joe Rice died at Little Rover Nursing and Rehab after a brief battle with cancer. He was 80 years old. Joe was a loving and caring brother, uncle, teacher, farmer and friend.
Joe was born in rural Little River County to Samuel Rice and Malissa Cannon Rice. He attended foreman schools and graduated from Henderson State Teachers College in 1962 an served four years in the United States Air Force until 1966. He coached at Horatio High School for one year before he began his teaching career at Foreman schools where he remained until retirement. He taught Language Arts and Social Studies.
Joe resided on his Family's farm and took over management of the business when his father died in 1980. He proudly raised peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, grapes and wildflowers the rest of his life. He always had one or more dogs that were loyal companions. He enjoyed visiting with "pickers" and informing others about farming. He shared much of his produce with friends and in return received many home baked goods and preserves made with his harvest. The relationships he developed in his peach shed were long lasting and widespread.
Joe loved the outdoor, animals, and plants. He was an avid reader of non-fiction with history, medicine and plants being his favorite subjects. Joe was passionate about sharing his blessings with others. Wether is was money, fruit, advice, land or friendship, he was generous and thoughtful. He was entertaining and could easily generate smiles and laughs with his stories. He was particularly invested in his students, and many remained steadfast friends with him.
Joe is survived by siblings, Mary Jone Pruitt of Texarkana, Sam Rice Jr .of Ashdown, Bill Rice (Dorothy) of Naples, Texas and Margaret (Don) Turner of Arkadelphia; four nephews; three nieces; and great-nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ann Rice and his sister-in-law, Lucy Rice.
The family would like to extend sincere thanks to the staff at Little River Nursing and Rehab where Joe was regular visitor and then a resident. Many of the staff knew Joe and treated him as if he were their family member. The family would also like to thank Texarkana Hospice for their attentive care of Joe during his decline. Joe was treated with respect and love thoroughout his stay. There are too many close friends to mention, but the family is grateful for all who visited, called, brought treats, and sent cars to ensure Jone's end of life was comfortable and happy.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 28th at 11 a.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery in Foreman with Sister Joyce. Green officitaing. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Holly Cross Cemetery Memorial Fund, c/o Mr. John J Stuart, P.O. Box 175, Foreman, Ark. 71836.
Published December 17, 2019