Reverend Ronnie's Story

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Funeral services for Reverend Ronnie Lee Rice, 74, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma are 1:00 pm, Saturday January 7, 2017, at First Baptist Church of Tahlequah. Officiating will be Reverend Buddy Hunt, Ellis Stout, Mark Harrison, and Dr. Derrick Lynch. Pallbearers are Jakob Rice, Caleb
Rice, Blake Rice, Dick Stowe, Sean Scearce, and Dr. Mike Dobbins. Honorary pallbearers are Wayne Kindell, Todd Lewis, Scott Mendenhall, Dalton Farrington, and Dr. Charles Gosnell. Interment will follow in the Tahlequah City Cemetery under the care of Green Country Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at tahlequahfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers please send donations to First Baptist Church Tahlequah, Debt Retirement Fund (principal).

Ronnie Rice was born in Weleetka, Oklahoma on April 30, 1942, to Clarence and Elsie (Smoot) Rice. He passed peacefully at his home in Tahlequah on January 3, 2017, surrounded by his family. Ron was a 1960 graduate of Webster High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and served as Class
President his senior year. Ron ran track, played basketball and football in high school and received a scholarship to play football at Eastern Oklahoma A & M in Wilburton, Oklahoma.
Ron was called to preach while attending Falls Creek the summer after Jr. College. He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1965 with a degree in History. He was a 1969 graduate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his M.D.I.V. Ron's first Pastorate was at Panola Baptist Church while he was attending Oklahoma Baptist University. During Seminary he Pastored at Story Baptist Church. His first full time Pastorate began in 1969 at First Baptist Church in Crescent, Oklahoma. In 1973 Ron was called to preach at First Baptist Church of Tahlequah where he led for 34 years until his retirement. After retiring he began serving as Interim Pastor at Carter Baptist Church, Grace Baptist Church, Southside Baptist Church, and First Southern Baptist Church Keys. Ron genuinely loved all people, not just those who were involved in the church.

Ron loved supporting his children and grandchildren through their athletics, and community youth activities. He loved his Sooners and sports of all kinds. He started T Ball through the Lions Club and helped start Little League Football in Tahlequah. He also started church basketball teams that would play in area tournaments with the prerequisite being each child needed to be at Sunday School on a consistent basis. He created these opportunities for his sons and coached them and their friends during their childhood.
He was a great husband, and the best father, always putting their wishes before his. Ron held several different offices throughout his time. He was President of the Pastors Conference of Oklahoma Baptist Convention, he served as a Trustee at Oklahoma Baptist University, he was on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention, and Moderator for three years of the East Central Baptist Association.

Ron loved the Lord and continued sharing The Plan Of Salvation, witnessing to the very end. Ron was preceded in death by his parents. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Peggy of the home; two sons, Greg Rice and wife Heather of Jenks, Oklahoma, and Brad Rice and wife Tracey of Edmond, Oklahoma; four grandchildren, Jakob Rice, Caleb Rice, Brooke Rice, and Blake Rice; a sister, Pat Starling and husband Dale of Tulsa, Oklahoma; brother-in-law, Colonel Stan Smith and wife Kathy of Middleburg, Florida; numerous church family members; and many other dear family and friends.
Published on January 5, 2017
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