William "Bill" Rice, 77, of Kensett was called to his Heavenly home August 25, 2020. He was born February 5, 1943 at Griffithville to Richard and Opal Rutherford Rice. If I had to say so myself, he was a man that truly lived his life to the fullest every day until he was called home.
Bill retired from Searcy Industrial Laundry where he was a route salesman. He attended AA meetings effortlessly where he was a sponsor of many over the 30 years of his sobriety. He enjoyed the outdoors; hunting, fishing, and working in the yard. If it was outside, he was down to get it done or at least have a hand in the work.
Dad, Papaw, Brother, Son, and so many other names could be used to call out to him. He was a big fan of breakfast food. If he ever had to miss a meal, I guarantee you it would not be his breakfast. He was a true friend to so many. He had a smile so big that it hid his eyes and had a contagious laugh that could he heard from a block away. He was strong, he was giving and even could be grouchy on some days but he was a man that always showed up and gave love to everyone he surrounded himself with.
Bill met his parents, Richard and Opal; his two sons, Steve and Richie; two brothers, Hollis and Richard "Big Boy"; sister, Helen Southard; and his life partner, Brenda Gentry at the gates of Heaven on that reunion day.
His legacy and honor will be carried through his daughter, Shelby Smith; two bonus children, Robert and Jennifer Stevens; nine grandchildren, Whitney, Christopher, Ethan, Davin, William, Justin, Darian, Aidan and Kynnlee; one great grandchild, Tristan; two sisters, Kathleen and Ruby; and a host of nieces, nephew, cousins, brothers in loyalty and friends.
Although we feel sad and alone now, we know he is closer than ever before to us all. Celebrate his life, his hard work, dedication and strength. We are left with many memories, old stories and life lessons. It is important to cherish this life in each moment of everyday that is to come.
It is okay to cry and mourn the sadness for now; but don't lose faith and know that..."this too shall pass...".
Visitation will be held from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Monday, August 31, 2020 with funeral services to follow at 2:00 p,m. Both services will be held at Sullivan Memorial Chapel.
Obituary written by his loving granddaughter, Whitney Cunningham.
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