Bobby Rice was born Sept. 21, 1949, in Shreveport, to the late Esther Bell and Roosevelt Rice. Bobby accepted Christ at an early age. He was baptized at New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Minden.
Bobby completed his formal education at Webster High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Degree from Southern A&M University in Baton Rouge, on Jan. 26, 1971, where he majored in accounting.
To serve his country, on May 1972, he enrolled in Naval Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, R.I. This was during the height of the Vietnam Conflict. His highest achievement was completing the requirements for driving a ship in Surface Warfare Officer School. He was one of 500 plus black officers to serve in the United States Navy at the time.
Upon graduating from OCS, he embarked upon the U.S.S. Okinawa (a helicopter carrier). He’s remembered by his officer colleagues as one of the finest ship handlers in the U.S. Navy. He is also remembered by his military colleagues as being a leader-professional and socially.
Jan. 6, 1973, he united in Holy Matrimony to Paula L. Garner and they were blessed with two children.
In 1975, he moved his family to Houston, Texas. Bobby was employed by G.B. Bioscience for 28 years until his retirement in 2005. He united with Greater True Light Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late founder the Rev. Willie Morrison. He actively served on the Deacon Board and Male Chorus under the leadership of the Rev. Willis T. Morris. He received a Bachelor of Theology from Inter-Baptist Theological Center. Under the leadership of Pastor T.O. Berry, he was called to the ministry. He was a devoted member until his health failed.
Preceding him in death were Esther Bell Washington, Roosevelt Rice, Floyd Washington and Linda Karriem.
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, Bobby was visited by the angel of death.
He leaves to cherish his memories his wife of 41 years, Paula Rice; one son, Roderick Rice (Ammie) and one daughter, Olivia Cofield (Je’Von) all of Houston, Texas; five sisters, Patricia Edwards of Minden, Carrie Washington of Dallas, Mary Francis Washington of Arlington, Texas, Carrie Rice Marigny (Michael) and Diane Rice Bennett all of Carson, Calif.; four brothers, Roosevelt Rice Jr. (Angela), Kenneth Rice (Sherry), Donald Rice and Anthony Rice all of Minden; a loving stepmother, Thelma Rice; sister-in-law, Ruby Washington, all of Minden; six grandchildren, Bernard Latchley Jr., Aaliyah Rice, Ayanna Cofield, Je’Von Cofield, Madison Cofield and Payton Cofield; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. September 27 at Greater True Light Missionary Baptist Church, 6828 Annunciation Street, Houston, Texas 77016. Arrangements are entrusted to Frazier and Mitchell Funeral Home, 5002 Hershe St. Houston, Texas 77020.
Graveside services will be at 2 p.m., September 28 at Sheppard Street Cemetery in Minden.