Mary Lou Rice
September 23, 1941  -  July 4, 2018

Mary Lou Rice


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Grace Community Church
935 W. Mescalero Rd.
Roswell, NM  88201
Sunday, July 22, 2018
12:15 PM
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RICE, MARY LOU COLLIER- Mary Rice passed away on July 4th, 2018 in Roswell NM at the age of 76. She was born to John and Alma Collier on September 23, 1941 in Snyder Texas. Both of her parents have preceded her in death.

Mary Rice was the example of the reinvented woman. She started her family at a young age raising for 4 children at home while her husband Dale was gone due to the Army. As she started her 30’s she made the decision to enroll into college and pursue a nursing degree. Mary felt a little self-conscience about being the oldest student in the nursing program, but not being deterred, she studied hard and immersed herself in her course work. It was a busy time for her raising the children mostly by herself but with diligence and determination she not only exceled in the program but finished as the valedictorian. Her “achieve it” drive and fortitude laid the ground work for many years of success in the health care industry. She worked anywhere she was needed and everywhere she could go. From delivering babies to working in med-surge her hand was available to help. She was strong in tense moments when every second was critical but also tender when the moment was needed. She spent time working with hospice when the patient was in their final days of life. Mary was the true embodiment of what a nurse is caring, compassion, and grace from birth to death and everything in between.

By the year 1999 Mary made the decision to leave nursing to help her aging parents as they entered their twilight years. This was an opportunity to care for and provide for them just as they had for her. After the passing of her parents Mary made good use of her time doing the things she loved to do.

Mary loved to quilt and sew. She had a small shed in her yard where she could go and work on her projects. Communally called a “she-shed” today it is the woman’s equivalent of a “man cave”. With her own fortress of solitude, she enjoyed her time by freely working on projects that she enjoyed. Mrs. Rice had a knack for rhythm and loved to dance. From country to Elvis she enjoyed getting out on the dance floor and did not let fear prevent her feet and hips from moving.

Her grandchildren were the light and joy of her life. She was a staunch supporter of each child and made sure that every important moment of their lives would be met with applause and hugs.
Even when they were young she never turned down a game of hide ‘n seek. When the grandkids spent the night, they would stay up late laughing and telling stories that they had made up. Her passion for her family was never hidden. She loved her children’s spouses as much as she loved her own kids and welcomed them into the family. She understood the finality of a life lived. The delicate tendrils that keep the heart beating and breathes taken where precious and never guaranteed. She had lost one daughter at a young age and the unnatural moment of a parent burying a child was placed on her. The family made it through the horrendous ordeal but the pain and grief worked its pain in her.

As Mary Lou finishes this first journey and begins the next away from her family everyone is left with a certain grief. The sadness is terrible but the story has not ended. The legacy she leaves to her husband Thelbert is of a wife who proved unconditional love, to her children by always putting them first and to the grandkids for the time she always made for them. So as her family extends and new generations come the foundation is already in place and the love she left will never crumble or give way.

Mary Rice is survived by her husband of 60 years Thelbert “Dale” Rice; children Michael Rice,
Danny Rice and Lee Anne, and Lisa Rueffer and Jeff; 8 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents; daughter Vicky Shelton; granddaughters Julie and
Sharla; sister Patsy Rich and bonus dad Cal Tennison.

In lieu of flowers you may make a donation to Grace Community Church or to a cancer
research/society of your choice.

A memorial service will be held at Grace Community Church on Sunday July 22, 2018 at
12:15 PM.

Condolences(9)

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  1. Nancy Alsup
    Roswell, NM

    Lisa, this is a beautiful obituary. I know how hard it is to lose your mother, and I'm so sorry. I send you a big hug and lots of prayers. Nancy

  2. Dorris A Owen
    Carlsbad, NM

    I loved you like my sister. You help to make my life wonderful, even when we got in trouble. We had so much fun growing up. I will miss you.

  3. Judy McDonald
    Moriarty, NM

    This precious lady would give anything and did for her family. I loved her.

  4. June Saltiel
    Franklin, TN

    I am so very sorry for your loss and the pain you are experiencing. You all are in my heart and prayers.

  5. Victoria Shelton & James Whatley
    Roswell, NM

    She will be missed greatly
    I do miss our Saturday morning visits
    We send our love, thoughts & condolances

  6. Felicia Brown
    Copperas Cove, TX

    Nina was such an amazing woman and so loving to everyone who entered her home. She will be missed. I have so many memories with her.y condolences to the family

  7. Doug Derington
    Houston, TX

    She will be missed. Really Sorry my prayers are with you

  8. Tisha Hinojos
    Tulsa, OK

    My condolences to her husband, children, and other family members. Lou was always a lot of fun to be around and she was a fantastic dancer. She will be missed.

  9. Bonnie Rice
    Merkel, TX

    Lou was a wonderful person and friend I was so lucky to have her in my life and loved her dearly
    She will be missed but her love will go on.

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