Irma Rice

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    - Dottie Ellis
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Irma Leatrice Lewis Rice, born to George Dewey Lewis and Blanche Amy (Jason) Lewis on April 9, 1924.

The youngest of seven children: George Dewey, Jr., Clara Mae, Carrie Aretha, Violet Athlene Lucille, Marvin Anthony, Elmer Olin, and Irma Leatrice. Her parents and siblings preceded her in death.

She was born and raised in Edwardsville. Attended Historic Lincoln School (the segregated school for black children), and was among the first classes that graduated 12th Grade. She also attended Mildred Louise Business College in East St. Louis, IL.

She and her husband Henry Clay Rice, Jr. grew up in Sunday School at Wesley Chapel A.M.E. Church as childhood sweethearts, married in 1941 and remained married until his death in 1968.

Their union brought four children - Marcia Ann, Roger Edwin, Violet Estella, and Aretha Renee. Her son Roger preceded her in death. She was blessed with seven grandchildren - Adrian, Dorian, Yvonne, Jami, Anthony, Denise, Garrick, Jr.; seven great-grandchildren – Andrea, Autumn, Mitchell, Taylor, Darion, Laylah, Taylor 2, and one great-great grandchild – Chase. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Irma worked at Armour Packing Company in Chicago while her husband served in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Sheridan, IL. After returning to Edwardsville, she worked at Edwardsville's Famous Department Store in the late 50's until the store went out of business. She spent many years as a homemaker, taking on a few domestic housecleaning jobs and caring for her family until she had to return to the workforce following her husband's death. She became a clerk-dispatcher for the Edwardsville Police Department, where she worked for 15 years and retired in 1988.

She is a member of Wesley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Edwardsville. She became a member at the age of eight years and remained an active member until her death. She loved her church and served in many capacities: Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday school teacher, basketball team cheerleading coach, Y.P.D. Director for over 10 years, 58 years on the Usher Board, 50-plus years in the Senior Choir, more than 20 years on the Steward Board, more than 30 years in the Willing Workers and Pastor's Aid Societies. She was active in the Edwardsville Branch N.A.A.C.P. and served as secretary for a number of years. .

Services will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Wesley Chapel A.M.E Church, 418 Aldrup Street, Edwardsville, IL Visitation 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Service – 11 a.m.

Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Condolences may be expressed online at weberfuneral home.

Weber & Rodney Funeral Home entrusted with arrangments.
Funeral Home
Weber & Rodney Funeral Home
304 N Main St
Edwardsville, IL 62025
(618) 656-4655
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Published in Edwardsville Intelligencer from Sept. 9 to Sept. 28, 2018