Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

In Memoriam: Rev. Dr. Jerry Lee Rice


Dr. Jerry Lee Rice, 89, of Rogers, Arkansas died on 29 July, 2020. He was born on 25 May, 1931 in Salem, Ohio, the son of Fred and Avon Rice.

He attended the then-named College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas where he met his first wife, the late Myra Woody Rice of Greenwood, Arkansas.

After college Dr. Rice attended the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, where he subsequently earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in divinity (’57). He was a pastor at several Indiana churches before joining the U.S. Air Force as a chaplain in 1960. He served as a Presbyterian chaplain at eleven locations including the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Okinawa, Japan. He also served a remote tour in northern Alaska. He retired from the Air Force in 1984 having achieved the rank of colonel. His military decorations include several Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit.

His first position after his military career was Dean of the Chapel at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville. He was later a pastor at churches in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Plano, Texas; Enid, Oklahoma and Rogers, Arkansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Myra and his twin older siblings, Donald Rice and Donna Ehrhart.

He is survived by his loving wife Miriam, whom he met in Rogers in 2015; son Kevin Rice and his wife Diana of Monte Vista, Colorado; daughter Kimberly Peel and her husband David of Ft Collins, Colorado; son Kerry Rice and his husband Jaap Dekker of Wiesbaden, Germany; and daughter Karyl Sorge and her husband Keith of Menomonie, Wisconsin; eight grandchildren: Holly Rice, Kathryn Lawrence, Lauren Goedereis, Carter Peel, Ryan Sorge, Brett Sorge, Drew Sorge, and Kari Sorge; thirteen great-grandchildren; niece Stevie Jo Thomas and nephew John Ehrhart, Jr.

Dr Rice was proud of his military service and was known throughout his military and civilian careers for his compassion, his sense of humor, and his great preaching skills.