Summit County pioneer passes away |

Summit County pioneer passes away


Mary Josephine Rice, 101, died August 15, 2008 at the Brighton Care Center, Brighton, Colo.

The pioneer and longtime Summit County resident was born February 9, 1907 to parents Frank and Emily Ross at their homestead near Delta, Colorado. She was raised on the farm and at age 19 enrolled at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. where she received a degree and a teacher’s certificate.

Known to all her friends as Josephine, in 1928 she signed a contract to teach school in the mining community of Montezuma. She taught grades one through eight in the one-room schoolhouse although she rarely had more than a handful of students at any one time.

On June 29, 1930, she married Earl Rice, owner of a ranch located on Soda Creek. Earl and Josephine raised their family on the ranch and remained there until they sold it in 1963. Summit Cove and a portion of the Ranch at Keystone now occupies the ranchland.

In 1963, the Rice family built a home in new Dillon. She remained there until the age of 91, when she sought a less harsh winter climate and moved to Inglenook Retirement Community in Brighton, Colo.

Over the years, she was active in the Blue River Home Demonstration Club, Eastern Star, PTA, PEO and many senior activities.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl, two brothers, and two sisters.

Josephine is survived by sons, Lawrence, San Antonio, Texas, Alan, Brighton, Colo., Robert, Casa Grande, Ariz., 8 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Dillon Community Church, 371 E LaBonte St., Dillon at 2 p.m. September 12.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to The American Leukemia Society, 5354 W Dartmouth Ave., Suite 400, Denver, CO, 80227.

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