John Wesley Rice, 71, passed away on Nov. 27, 2015, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. He was born to Kenneth and Flora Rice on March 26, 1944, in Bowman, North Dakota. He spent his early years in Wyoming and Colorado. He graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, South Dakota, and attended graduate school at SMU in Dallas. He met Linda Lanz during his senior year of college and they wed June 3, 1967, in Chamberlain, South Dakota. After graduate school, John and Linda moved to Montana to pursue John's love of hunting and fishing.
In 1970 and 1971, John and Linda were blessed with their children, Tommy and Sally Soo. John's children were the focal point of his life. Together, the family enjoyed camping, skiing, dirt bikes, selling tacos in the summer and attending all athletic events the kids participated in.
John's grandchildren brought him great joy. He devoted summer days to entertaining them with golf cart rides, trips to the mountains, campfires and s'mores. John was a fun grandpa who always made time to teach and amuse his family.
John worked at the Rio Tinto Talc Mine in Cameron, Montana, for 35 years and he was proud to have worked with the same crew for so many years.
John and Linda have been winter visitors in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, since 2007. They have made many close friends at their winter home, The Islander RV Resort. During retirement, John was able to work on his golf game and fish for stripers. Fall days were spent in the mountains hunting elk.
John is survived by his wife, Linda of Ennis, Montana, and Lake Havasu City, Arizona; son, Tom Rice and his children, Austin and Maddie Rice of Golden, Colorado; daughter, Sally Rice and her daughters, Cheyenne Carey and Paige Anderson of Ennis, Montana; brother, Dan and Amy Rice of Fargo, North Dakota; sisters, Bill and Rosalie Horak of Denver, Colorado, and Bob and Katherine Strebel of Ogden, Utah.
How do you write the measure of a man in a few paragraphs? John was a man of deep faith who gave and served others without fanfare. He was the Master of the Pun and always enjoyed a good laugh, even at this own expense. And last, John and Linda lived a love story for more than 48 years. John was a good man and his legacy will live on with his children and beloved grandchildren.
Services were placed in the care of Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home and Crematory. Thoughts and condolences may be sent to the family at www.lietz-frazefuneralhome.com.
Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home
21 Riviera Boulevard
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 2, 2015