Glenna Sawyer Rice, of West Chester and formerly Berea, Kentucky, died on February 9, 2021, just shy of her 91st birthday. Born in 1930 and raised in rural southeastern Kentucky near the town of Corbin, Glenna was the first in her family to attend college, graduating Berea College in 1951 before marrying classmate Oliver W. Rice, Jr., in 1954. She and Oliver raised four children in such far-flung places as Bangkok, Thailand, before settling in West Chester in 1972. Glenna was a long-time teacher in the West Chester Area School District, where as a reading specialist she established an innovative middle school remedial reading lab. Helping students improve their reading skills was her professional passion and she received numerous commendations for her work in this area. She continued educating after her retirement in 1986, bringing both expertise and financial resources to rural reading programs in her native Kentucky. Another rewarding post-retirement experience involved teaching English at Southwest China Teachers’ College in Sichuan Province. An avid horticulturalist, Glenna enjoyed taking certificate-level courses at Longwood Gardens, and loved tending her expansive home gardens. She was also a skilled bird watcher and enjoyed this hobby connecting her to nature wherever she traveled. In retirement and after Oliver died in 1991, she returned to Berea where she was active in various civic roles and Appalachian folk art preservation activities. She toured internationally with the Berea College Alumni Country Dancers performing folk dances of English, Danish and Appalachian mountain traditions. She was a talented visual artist, mainly in charcoal pencil and oil, and displayed many of her works in her residences and retirement communities. Glenna is survived by her four children, David (Exton), Mavis (Minneapolis), Mark (St. Louis) and Kevin (Malvern). She also leaves behind nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. A memorial celebration is planned for the summer of 2021 @ Reppert Funeral Home in Berea, Kentucky. In lieu of flowers, much needed contributions may be made to Pine Mountain Settlement School (note: Glenna Rice Reading Camp Fund), 36 Hwy 510, Pine Mountain, KY 40810-8289.
Published by The Daily Local from Apr. 13 to Apr. 14, 2021.