Vera Dale Rice, 95, died April 4, 2008 at her home in Scottsdale. She was born Aug. 17, 1912 in Alexandria, Tenn. to Beverly "Pitt" Marcus and Alice Lena (Eaton) Rowland.
Mrs. Rice was a dedicated teacher throughout her life, beginning her career at the age of 18, in a one-room schoolhouse in Tennessee. She went on to receive her master's degree.
During World War II, she heard the call of her country, and enlisted as one of the first members of the W.A.C. in the United States Army.
Following the war, she met her first husband, Eugene Elton "Gene" Clark, and in 1949, they were married in Wyoming. Immediately following their marriage, the couple moved to Holbrook, where Mrs. Rice worked for more than 20 years teaching. In 1969, her husband died. She later married Edwin Rice, and after three years of marriage, he died in 1980.
Since moving to Arizona, Mrs. Rice has lived in Holbrook, Payson, Phoenix and most recently, Scottsdale.
She is survived by her daughter, Debbie (Jim) Mercer of Payson; grandchildren, Kenny (Jennifer) Stidham of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, David (Louise) Stidham of Gilbert and Joy Stidham of Phoenix; four great-grandchildren, Nolan Stidham, Lauren Stidham, Lane Stidham and Audrey Stidham; two sisters, Edith King of Maryville, Tenn. and Ryta McMurray of Clinton, Tenn.
In addition to her two husbands, Mrs. Rice was also preceded in death by an infant daughter, Mary Elizabeth Clark (who lived for only eight days); a brother, Elmo Rowland; and three sisters, Nell Owen, Sarah Fuggit and Frances McBride.
Burial was at the Holbrook Cemetery, where she was laid to rest next to her first husband, Gene. The American Legion provided military honors in recognition of her faithful service in the W.A.C. The flag draping her casket was retired and presented to her daughter, Debbie.
For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign an online guestbook, visit the Web site at www.owensmortuary. com.
Owens Mortuary of Holbrook handled the arrangements.