Warren Rice, 86, Mitchell, formerly Rockham, S.D., died Sunday, Jan. 26, in his home. A memorial will be held at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, South Highway 37 (just South of Wal-Mart) in Mitchell, SD on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
Warren Murray Rice was born June 3, 1933 in Rockham, South Dakota, and died at the age of 86 on January 26, 2020 in Mitchell, South Dakota where he made his home for 63 years. He was well known in the community by many people both in his professional life and his personal life as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Warren retired as a Major in the National Guard after 23 years where he became acquainted with and trained many troops. He graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines as a Mechanical Engineer in 1957.
He worked for a number of engineering organizations throughout his career, with most of his work being in the design and construction oversight of wastewater treatment facilities, irrigation systems, and oil-water separators. He was recognized for his accomplishments in the invention of an environmentally friendly oil-water separator system widely used in commercial industry. After retirement, he worked for another 17 years at Wal-Mart.
He began studying the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses in the 1970's. In 1995, he dedicated his life to Jehovah and was baptized. Warren married June (Guinn) Burrows on February 24, 1996. They loved sharing Bible truth in the ministry together as well as studying the Bible and Christian publications. They also, enjoyed going on quiet drives in country settings especially in the beautiful state of Arkansas where June called home for over 25 years. As they were driving they might come across a golfing range, and stop to enjoy hitting a few balls, or a nice quaint Italian restaurant to enjoy eating, or check in a motel or cabin overlooking the lush swooping valleys and hills with a beautiful blue lake far in the distance below. Just days before passing he pleaded with June to just put him in the car and drive and he said; "Maybe we can stop and have pancakes along the way". He truly enjoyed being out where there was still beauty among God's beautiful wild flowers and lush greenery, and catch sight of little animals, deer, and the variety of birds singing.
He is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, June; one sister, Barbara (Roger) Appel; David's wife, Cleon, Philip’s former wife, Ramona; daughters, Stephanie (Clinton) Schroeder and Renee Cundy; one son, Monte Rice; three step children, Tina (Tyler) Folkers, Teresa (Richard) Tollefson, Roger Burrows; 14 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Warren was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Clara (Sohrt) Rice; his former wife, Sandra (Solum) Rice (mother of his three children); his brothers, Donald (LaClede) Rice, David, Richard (Darlene) Rice (and former wife Julie), Phillip, Norman and John; his sisters, Mildred (Vernon) Hull and Marie (Forrest) Preston.