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William Rice, 95 - October 09, 2011


William “Bill” A. Rice, 95, of Cozad died Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, at the Cozad Community Hospital Hospice care.
A celebration of life service will take place Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 1:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Cozad with the Rev. Doug Smith officiating. A private family burial will be conducted at the Cozad Cemetery prior to service.
Rice was born Jan. 3, 1916, at Clyde, OH, to William Burr and Nettie (Kern) Rice. He moved to Cozad in 1920 and was a graduate of Cozad High School.
On June 6, 1937, he married Leota Walker at the Walker family farm south of Cozad. To this union, four children were born.
Rice and his wife made their home at Cozad where they resided their entire married lives.
He owned the John Deere Implement at Cozad, and would come to enjoy many successes in business due to his unrelenting work ethic, according to family members.
Rice was also an amateur radio operator, a hobby that he began in 1932. Over his 79 years of amateur radio, he had spoken with someone from every country in the world.
He and his wife also took great pride in their collection of thoroughbred race horses, particularly their prize-winning thoroughbred, Bold LB.
Rice had a thirst for knowledge throughout his entire life, and as a result of his progressive thinking, he quickly became an avid user of computers and would maintain a remarkably open mind throughout all of the changes that 95 years brought his way, said family members.
?He was a charter member of the First United Methodist Church of Cozad and was a member of the Cozad Elks Club and had served on the City Council.
Rice also enjoyed golfing and belonged to the Cozad Country Club for many years.
He was preceded in death by: his wife, Leota in 2002; a son, Gary Rice in 2004; infant twin sons; his parents; a brother, Ted Alden Rice; sister, Wilnetta (Robert) Pickard.
Survivors include: his three daughters—Phyllis (Stephen) Douglas of Little Rock, AR, Sandra (Tom) Malovoz of Albuquerque, NM, and Vicki (Clark) Yanda of Boelus; eight grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great-grandchildren; children of the heart—Marc (Diana) Diehl of Idaho Falls, CO, and Judy (Leonard) Murphy of Green Valley, AZ; special caregivers—Kelly Worrell, Koya Kreft, Linda Pflaster and Olga Puente.

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