Bill (Billy) Jones Rice, 88, of Amarillo died on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.
Services will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 12, 2012 at First Baptist Church with Dr. Howard K. Batson, Pastor and Dr. W. Winfred Moore, Pastor Emeritus, officiating. Burial will be at Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Bill was born on November 22, 1923 in Kaufman, Texas to Pearl Jones Rice and Clyde P. Rice. He graduated from Kaufman High School and attended Tarleton State and SMU where he earned a BA in Business in 1948. Bill was a senior at A&M when he left for OCS in WW2. He married Merle Harris upon her graduation in 1949.
He was Infantry company commander in Rainbow Division. He fought in Nuremburg and Swinford. His division liberated Dachau. He was promoted to Captain and received the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, driving behind lines over enemy territory to deliver communications to Headquarters. Bill received Combat Infantry Badge with Star for Korea, the European Ribbon for 2 major battles, the French Award for liberation and the Korean Award. He was recalled in 1951 to Korean War, receiving 2 Purple Hearts, being wounded twice in combat as Company Commander 1st Cavalry Division.
Bill never spoke of either war until Dr. Howard Batson asked him to speak in church May 29, 2005.
Bill was in the carpet business for 10 years wholesale and 50 years retail. He was a member, Deacon and teacher at First Baptist Church and superintendent-sophomores. He was also President of Amarillo West Rotary where he received the Paul Harris Fellow, 2nd Mile Award, and most valuable member award. He also was the song leader. He was also a member of Gideons, American Legion, Rainbow Division, Executive Council Golden Spread Boy Scouts of America, Faith City Board, Better Business Board, Amarillo Solicitations Board and Ad Hoc committee for NWTH.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde P. and Pearl Rice and a son, Scott William Rice.
Survivors include his wife, Merle Harris Rice; a son, Martin Edward Rice and wife Tammy; grandson, Jake Andrew Rice and wife, Michelle; granddaughter, Sara Michelle Rice; grandson, Reagan McGuyver Rice; grandson, Quinn Aubrey Rice; granddaughter, Reilly Elizabeth Rice and Catherine Rice Wellman and husband, Dr. Harrison Wellman, mother of Reagan, Reilly and Quinn; a niece, Betty Wilson and husband Dan and a nephew, Dr. Mike McConachie and wife Cindy.
The family suggests memorials be made to City Church Outreach Ministry, 205 S. Polk, Amarillo, TX 79101; to Faith City Ministries, 401 S.E. 2nd Ave. Amarillo, TX 79101 ; or to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 2490, Amarillo, TX 79105-2404.