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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Charlotte Rice, it is easy to see that there was no greater gift in her life than her family. She was a lifelong resident of the community she loved, and with her warm and gracious personality she drew others near with ease. A loving and devoted wife and mother, Charlotte was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. A woman of faith, Charlotte exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a brilliantly colored mosaic of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.
The early part of the 20th century was anything but easy. But, despite the hardship around them, Charles and Muriel Stuck were able to focus on an exciting time in their lives as they were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as March dawned in 1919. Their wait was finally over on March 3rd when they were thrilled to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Charlotte. Raised in Fulton, Michigan, she was one of six children in her family as she was raised alongside her siblings, Milton, Polly, Laura, Nora, and Iva.
In many ways Charlotte was a young girl of her generation. Her parents were hard working farmers, and this was a character trait that she came to embrace as well. Charlotte attended local schools in Fulton where she enjoyed softball and was a teacher’s assistant as she had aspirations of becoming a teacher one day. She also excelled in her studies as she was valedictorian of her graduating class. Charlotte ended up going through the nursing program at the state hospital in Kalamazoo rather than going into teaching.
New and exciting changes were in store for Charlotte when she met the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Winston Rice, and although he was from a different school they met at her high school prom in 1937. Interestingly, they had come with different dates that evening, but they wound up dancing with one another the entire night! They began dating, and the sweethearts were married on October 9, 1941, deeply in love. Charlotte was working as a registered nurse at Bronson at the time, but when her husband was sent overseas to serve as WWII landed on our shores with the attack of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, she moved around throughout his time in the service. When she was in her 50s, Charlotte started working at the Bronson Vicksburg Hospital.
There was never anything of greater importance in Charlotte’s life than her family. She and her husband were blessed to welcome two children including Sue and Mike into their hearts and home. They raised their children in the home they built on a plot of land before their children were even born. Charlotte loved cooking for other people, and her meals were always fresh with everything made from scratch. Among her specialities were her potato salad and fresh fish fried in butter as well as morel mushrooms that Grandpa picked - also fried in butter. As the years went by, Charlotte was thrilled when her family grew, and there was nothing she loved more than being around a table sharing a meal with her family.
Throughout her life Charlotte fully embraced the days she was given. She and her husband loved traveling. With their children at home they took several trips driving all around the country, taking in as many of the national parks as they could. They also stopped to have picnics at parks and picnic areas as they went. Once they retired, Charlotte and Win took at least one substantial trip a year including to Alaska, Hawaii, Disneyland, Disney World, and to the Canary Islands. The most memorable trip they took together was a trip to Europe where Win was able to show Charlotte so much of the country that he saw through a much different lens during his days serving in WWII. She also loved seeing Switzerland.
Charlotte was a longtime member of Vicksburg United Methodist Church where they were actively involved. When Win was no longer able to drive, they were so thankful for their church family who provided them with transportation to and from the store or appointments when needed. She often sewed, and she loved reading and even continued with audiobooks after her eyesight no longer allowed her to read. With a love for flowers, Charlotte could often be found out gardening, and her favorite show was Lawrence Welk. As her family and friends can attest, she loved to eat, especially where dessert was concerned. Everyone knew not to get in the way of her dessert!! Charlotte enjoyed classic country music and artists like Eddie Arnold and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
With unending love for her family and friends, Charlotte Rice touched the lives of so many. She was strong and disciplined, even exercising and being proactive into her 90s. Charlotte was fully committed to the people and things she loved, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Charlotte Rice died on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Charlotte’s family includes her children: Sue (Roger) Lucas and Mike (Carolyn) Rice; sister: Iva (Dick) Snyder; grandchildren: Wendy (Steve) Caverly, Kim (John) Hayes, Tony (Vickie Mann) Wells, Angie (Paul) Rechlin, Jill (Dave) Partaka, John (Stacia) Lucas, Kathy (Jason) Hopkins; and great-grandchildren: Joshua Benn, Katy Benn, Brooke Perry, Sarah Hayes, Ty Hayes, Austin Wells, Nate Rechlin, Emilee Partaka, Davey Partaka, Lucas Hopkins, Sidney Hopkins and Brody Hopkins. Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents; husband: Winston Rice; siblings: Milton (Ruth) Stuck, Polly (Perry) Barnes, Laura Groth, and Nora (Harold) Wise. The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home in Vicksburg, 409 S. Main (649-1697). Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Please visit www.mccowensecord.com where you can archive a memory and photo, sign her guestbook, and make a donation in her memory to Vicksburg United Methodist Church or Hope Hospice in Cape Coral, Florida.