The Pryor Times

March 29, 2014

Obituary- Rice


PRYOR, OK — Lavina Lee (Smith) Rice, 87, Salina, died March, 28, in Pryor. She was born in Lowery,  to Lester Lee Smith and Mabel Mary (Shaw) Smith on Oct. 2, 1926.   She attended Leach Elementary School and graduated from Kansas, Okla. in 1946. She was the vice-president of her graduating class.  After high school graduation she took the state test to be a school teacher.  She passed, and then taught at Buffalo Elementary School, southwest of Leach, for one year.

She married Earl Eugene Rice on July 27, 1947 in Hartington, Neb.  Earl’s best man was his cousin, Opie Crawford and Lavina’s maid of honor was Lorene (Emme) Crawford.  To this union was born Clay Earl Rice, their only child.    They lived in several states during the first years of their marriage because of his work on the pipe line.  They moved back to Salina where they established their home and raised their son. Lavina and Earl, the “R” of C & R Oil Company, Inc., in Pryor were two of the co-founders of the company.  She was very active in the Salina American Legion Auxiliary, and a past member of the Eastern Star Chapter in Locust Grove.   She was also a member of Salina First Baptist Church for the past 55 years, taught Vacation Bible School there many years, and helped in the kitchen with refreshments for the children.   Because she was a stay-at-home mother to raise her son, she babysat several children in her home over the years. She also enjoyed substitute teaching for the Salina Schools, and did so up until her late 70s’.   

She is survived by  son Clay Earl and wife Tonda Jean (Littlefield) Rice of Pryor; grandson Caleb Thomas Rice of Colorado Springs, Co; granddaughter Katie Amanda Rice of Pryor; brother Jim Allison and wife Durenda of Nixa, Mo; nephews Norman and Nelson Smith of Leach; Ronnie, Billy, and Greg Rice of Salina; Randal Rice of Columbia, Mo; nieces Jennifer Kirk and Jenna New of Leach; Kim Maddux of Ketchum; Janet Snow of Southwest City, Mo; Vicky Rice of Muskogee; Patricia Faircloth and Susan Rice of Pryor; sisters-in-law Edna Earl Rice of Salina; and Ruby Rice of Lowry City, Mo.; along with a multitude of great nieces and nephews.  Lavina is preceded in death by her husband Earl E. Rice, her dad Lester Lee Smith, her step-dad Everett Allison, her mom Mable Mary (Shaw) Smith Allison, her brother Preston (Buck) Smith, his wife Mary Smith, brother-in-law Murl Rice and wife Laverne Rice, brother-in-law Burl (Peanuts) Rice, nephews Michael and David Eugene Rice.

Family visitation is 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., Sunday, March 30, at Shipman’s Funeral Home, Pryor. Funeral services are  2 p.m. Monday, March 31, at the First Baptist Church, Salina.   Burial will follow at Ross Mayes Cemetery of Salina. Casket bearers are Norman Smith, Nelson Smith, Ronnie Rice, Billy Rice, Greg Rice, Randal Rice, and Andrew Rice –nephews of Lavina. David Gibson will be officiating at the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Rice’s memory to the First Baptist Church of Salina Children’s Ministry. To leave her family a message, visit her book of memories at www.shipmansfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Shipman’s Funeral & Cremation Service.

The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Shipman Funeral Home, Rivercross Hospice, and the special nurses who did day-to-day care for Momma at Colonial Terrace Care Center.


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