Steven Olen Rice, 66, formerly of Nevada, passed away on Monday, December 30, in his home in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Steve was born September 2, 1953 in Canyon, Texas to Lonnie Rice and Jimmie Doris (Hunter) Rice.
Steve moved with his family to Nevada, Missouri, when he was nine years old. Steve attended Nevada High School where he perfected his mother’s signature for notes to the administration, graduating in 1972. Following graduation, Steve met the love of his life – the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Steve earned his Bachelor of Science Business Administration in accounting in 1976.
Following graduation, Steve worked for Crane Co. in Nevada as an accountant until 1979. He then moved to Evansville, Indiana, where he went to work for Peerless Pottery. In 1985, Steve moved to Rockport, Indiana, where he worked for Peerless as the Vice President – Finance Secretary/Treasurer of the Corporation until the company was sold and closed in 2004. While in Rockport, he volunteered and was Chairman of Spencer County’s Coalition for a Drug Free Community and also was on the Board of Directors for United Way of Southwestern Indiana. He was awarded the Community Volunteer Award for the Governor’s Commission for a Drug Free Indiana and Outstanding Booster for the South Spencer High School Booster Club. In 2004, Steve returned to Arkansas and his retirement home on Lake Rayburn in Bella Vista. From 2009 to 2018, Steve worked in shipping for Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Upon his return to Arkansas, Steve became a fixture at Razorback games. He was a rabid Razorback fan. Always an adventurous spirit, Steve loved to get in the car and go exploring – usually with his mother, aunt and cousin in the car – down Pig Trail Road out of Fayetteville or to any parts of the countryside. He loved to visit Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and the Pioneer Woman ranch. Steve had an infectious, boundless joy for life, and he enjoyed teasing everyone, especially his nieces.
Steve is survived by his mother, Jimmie Rice, of Nevada, MO; brothers, Bruce Rice (Debbie) of Nevada, Jim Rice (Kelly) of North Richland Hills, TX, and Mike Rice of Chicago, IL; nieces, Katie Rice of Noblesville, IN and Lindsay (Rice) Kerbs (Jordan) of Prairie Village, KS; and nephew, William Rice of McQueeney, TX. Steve was preceded in death by his father, Lonnie Rice and his brother, Gregg Rice (Doris).
The family will receive friends from 1-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association or the Razorback Foundation at 1295 S. Razorback Rd. #A Fayetteville, AR 72701 or c/o Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, MO.
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