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Rice, Bette April 29, 1930 - December 31, 2020

Graveside Service

Monday, January 4, 2021

11:00 AM

Lowry City Cemetery

Bette Jean (Stehwien) Rice, 90, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at her home in Lowry City, Missouri.  

Bette was born on April 29, 1930 in Grass Range, Montana to Carl and Lora Lee Stehwien. After a short time in Mount Zion, Missouri, Bette and her family moved across the country to Los Angeles, California in 1936.  In 1943 her family moved back to Lowry City where she accepted Christ at the age of 17. She graduated from Lowry City High School in 1948. There she met her future husband, Donald Rice. On July 31, 1949, Bette married Don at the Lowry City United Methodist Church and they recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. 

Bette and Don built their home and raised their family in Raytown, Missouri. She joined the Raytown Blue Ridge Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School to pre-schoolers for 20 years. In 1965, Bette started her long career preparing taxes, first at H&R Block and then her own preparation service for a total of more than 50 years and completed over 20,000 returns. 

They moved to the Snyder family farm in Lowry City in 1978, where she and Don lived until their recent passing.  Bette was an active member of the Lowry City United Methodist Church, the Apple Dumplings Square Dance Club, and beloved by many in her community.

She is survived by her son Chris Rice (Sidney) of Schererville, Indiana and her daughter Lea Ann Sprague of Leawood, Kansas. Also surviving are her grandchildren, Daniel Rice (Lauren), Mary Lea Walston (Casey), Max Sprague, Harrison Rice, Elliott Rice and Garrett Sprague; great-grandchildren  Elizabeth and William Rice, Caroline, Ruby and Katherine Walston, and many beloved nieces and nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the National Kidney Foundation @ kidney.org or the Lowry City Boy Scout Troop 437 c/o Hurley Mahan, 2980 NE Highway A, Lowry City, MO 64763.


  1. REPLY
    Wilford and Carol Harper says

    Bette will be missed as will Don. A part of our community is gone.
    Blessings to the family left to remember them.

  2. REPLY
    Kim Smith says

    My deepest sympathies. Cherish the years of wonderful memories.
    Kim Smith

  3. REPLY
    Barbara Drenon says

    LeaAnn, I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. My prayers are with you! Love, Barb Drenon

  4. REPLY
    Steve & Donita Dust says

    Lea Ann, Steve and I are so sorry about your mom’s and dad passing. We are thinking of you and your family.

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