Clarence F. Rice, 92, of Dayton, Ohio and formerly of Middlebourne, Fairmont and Wellsburg, WV departed this life Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at the home of his daughter where he had lived the last 6 ? years.
He was born October 26, 1924 in Brooke County near Wellsburg, WV, the middle child of the late Ernest and Golda Eastham Rice.
He graduated with honors from Wellsburg High School in 1943. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 and spent a short time there before he was honorably medically discharged. He was an evangelist for 61 years for the church of Christ at several congregations in the Ohio Valley. Many referred to him as a "Soldier of the Cross". He was the author of several books and "as far as we know" the first to put the "search word" book on the market in 1964. He also authored different sermon books and bible class material. He wrote over 1000 poems and 250 lyrics for gospel hymns of which some have been published. He was a former employee of the S. George Co., Wellsburg, WV for 21 years where he printed flour sacks. He loved carpentry work which led to the construction of multiple homes including two of his own.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Wanda Wheeler Rice, having been married May 5, 1947 until her death January 2, 2009. A brother Harry Rice. Two sisters; Ethel Kent and Bessie Jane Hardy. A son- in-law Richard Reeder and a daughter-in-law Paula Rice.
Clarence is survived by his daughter, Patricia Reeder, Dayton, OH. Two sons; Fred Rice, Dania Beach, FL and Richard Rice, Westblockton, AL. A brother, William Rice, St. Clairsville, OH; 12 grand children; Jeff, Mike, Karen, April, Nikki, Leslie, Jordan, Kristen, Zach, Dave, Sadonna and Eric. 20 great -grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.
Family will receive friends at Furbee Funeral Home, Middlebourne, 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2017 and at the Middlebourne Church of Christ Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 9-11 a.m. with service beginning at 11 a.m. Evangelist Morris Hafley will be the officiant, assisted by Evangelist Homer Matthews. Internment in Beechwood Cemetery, Alma, WV.
Military rites will be provided by VFW Post, 6327, Sistersville, VFW Post 4634, New Martinsville, American Legion Post, 67, Sistersville, American Legion Post, 86, Paden City, American Legion Post, 28, New Martinsville and American Legion Post, 48, Middlebourne.
Expressions of sympathy may be offered to the family at www.furbeefuneralhome.com.