Willa Belle Rice (Willo) born Willa Belle Jones to Jim C. and Lena V. Jones on October 23, 1932. Passed into the loving arms of her savior Jesus Christ on July 12, 2019.
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She was born in the City of Texon, Reagan County Texas. The third child of Jim C. and Lena V. Her father was a wrangler early in life and a Rail-Mail carrier until he retired. They lived in Putnam, Texas where she and her sister attended Putnam High School.
She married John Henry Rice on May 28, 1949. They began their lives together in Borger, Texas, Hutchinson County but moved to Stinett, Texas as John was employed by the Phillips Petroleum Refinery located between Borger and Stinett. There they brought into the world four children; Jim, Jeff, Curtis and Edie.
In 1964 the family moved to Carbon, Texas where they farmed a Pecan Orchard and John worked as a carpenter. In 1970 the family moved to Gorman, Texas. John became a proprietor of Rice’s Mobil Gas Station on Highway 6 West until Curtis graduated from Gorman High School in 1973. After that John served as the fuel delivery person for Miears and Associates until he retired. Willo continued to be the homemaker for the family and worked part-time as a manager for the Miears home.
Early in her life she was a vocalist and pianist for the churches they attended where she was frequently asked to bring “Special Music” on Sunday mornings. Heavens Angelic Choir now stands in awe of her talents.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Carlton, from Sudan, Texas and her beloved John Henry.
They leave behind their four children: Jim and Kay Rice of Gorman; Jeff and Maudine Rice of Richland, Washington; Curtis and Barbara Rice of San Antonio; and Edith Grumbles of Gorman. Eight grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the people of Hutchinson and Eastland Counties for the blessings and enrichments of our lives. Also, to the Solaris Hospice Group and the staff of the Rising Star Nursing Facility in Rising Star- “God bless you all!”
The family also requests in lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Noah Project or any abuse center organization in your area.