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Robert R. Rice, 94, passed at his Bynum home on Sunday, December 9, 2018 following a brief illness with cancer. A memorial service will be at 11:00am Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Pondera Funeral Home in Conrad. Following the service, family and friends are invited for lunch at the Conrad Moose Lodge. Interment will have taken place at Hillside Cemetery in Conrad.
Bob was born July 31, 1924 at the family home, Porter Bench, Teton County (Pendroy), MT; the sixth of Paul and Olga Rice's eight children. Bob was the youngest son. His older brothers all served during WWII, but Bob's eyesight prevented his enlistment. As the only son at home, he quit high school to work the family farm. At the end of the war, he resumed his high schooling and graduated with the Teton County High School class of 1947 - the last class to graduate before it became Choteau High School. He attended Montana State College in Bozeman for one year. Returning to the family farm, he farmed with his brother, Donald. After his marriage to Lucille Lettenga of Conrad, the brothers divided their operation. Robert was a wise and thoughtful steward of his land and time, growing his farm operation and training his sons in the ways of agricultural production. He especially enjoyed raising cattle and working with horses. Bob may not have remembered all his neighbor’s names on sight, but he knew every life detail of each animal he raised. Bob and Lucille enjoyed horseback adventures with their neighbors, along with card parties and community dances. Camping with their children and grandchildren was always a favorite activity. Together, they traveled to foreign lands and all the Western United States, wintering in Arizona the last 24 years and building new friendships. At age 80, Dad took up and enjoyed bowling with Lucille on a senior’s league for twelve years.
Bob served many years on the Bynum School District Board of Directors; the Bynum Irrigation Board of Directors; as chairman of the Bynum Precinct Election Board for Teton County; the Pendroy Volunteer Fire Department and was a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose in Conrad.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents; all his siblings, Della (Tschantre), George, Leonard, David, Donald, Pauline (Cronin) and Mary (O'Brien); his daughter, Roberta Lou "Bobbie" Walker; one grand-daughter; 3 nephews and one niece.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lucille; their sons, Paul (Sharon) of Choteau and Allen (Cynthia) of Pendroy; Son-in-law, Donald Walker of Florida; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, with number twelve due in January; two sisters-in-law, Helen Rice and Una Coleman; as well as many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Bob to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or a local charitable organization.
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