Mary Marie (Rose) Rice, age 82, passed away on Saturday, August 15, 2020 after
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battles with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. Peaceful in her passing, Mary was
a loving wife, mother and grandmother who is survived by her husband, John H.
Rice of Shinnston, children John L. (Susan) Rice, Ringoes NJ, Jim (Jennifer) Rice,
Nellys Ford, VA, and Julie Gregory of Shinnston, and grandchildren Katie (John)
Griffin, Stamford, CT, Carter Rice, Denver, CO, Jackson Rice and Jennings Rice both
of Los Angeles, CA. She is also survived by her siblings Anita (Bill) Stehney, Charlie
(Judy) Rose, and Paul Rose. She was preceded in death by her brother, Homer
Pennington. She is survived by many nieces, nephews and hundreds of former
students whom she considered extended members of her family.
Mary, born on September 24, 1937, the daughter of a Methodist minister and
housewife (Paul and Dorothy Rose), was born in Huntington, WV and moved to
Shinnston in 1954 where she became a majorette, prom queen, and lifelong
partner to the love of her life, John. During her sophomore year in college, she
and John crossed the border into Maryland, convinced a judge that they were of
age, and entered into a marriage that lasted almost 63 years. After leaving college
to raise 3 children, she returned to Fairmont State College in the 60’s to complete
her Bachelor of Arts in Education.
She was a mother, professional and role model to her children and grandchildren.
She was proud of her grandchildren, and even as she struggled with remembering
where they lived or what they did, she perked up at the sound of their voices.
Mary loved her students. She was a teacher of speech, drama and English at both
Liberty and Lincoln high schools for 35 years before retiring in 2002. She loved
Shakespeare, and she loved directing her high school musicals. Her influence on
those she taught was vast, deep and impactful, and nothing made her prouder
than being able to say “he/she was one of my students”.
We also can’t forget that Mary loved Rod Stewart, and she loved Rod Stewart
through his rock, disco and American Songbook catalog! It’s one of the mysteries
that made Mary such a wonderful friend, mother and generally cool person worth
Above all, Mary loved her animals. Although many dogs were a part of her family
over the years, she had a special affinity for cats. Over the course of her life, there
were many cats who resided not only in the house, but also outdoors. Mary
adopted feral cats and made sure that they were spayed, neutered and cared for
as they roamed the fields in her back yard. All creatures great and small got the
care, love and attention they deserved by Mary.
Friends are invited to join a memorial service on Saturday August 29 at the First
United Methodist Church in Shinnston. Please join the family in sharing memories
beginning at 10 am followed by a service at noon. Due to the limitations for group
gatherings during the pandemic, we will live stream the service for those who
wish to join the celebration of Mary’s wonderful, loving and caring life.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to the First United
Methodist Church 64 Rebecca Street, Shinnston WV 26431 in Mary’s memory.
Online memories and condolences may be shared at harmerfuneralhome.com
A service of Harmer Funeral Home, Shinnston