Delbert L. Rice

Published 1:53 pm Thursday, October 27, 2022

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March 23, 1952-Oct. 25, 2022


Delbert Lee Rice, 70, of Dowagiac, died peacefully Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in the comfort of his family’s presence.
His life began March 23, 1952, in Three Rivers, Michigan, one of four children born to Byron and Betty Rice. He married Barbara Dussel April 23, 1972, in Cassopolis. After thirty-one years of marriage, she preceded him in death Aug. 17, 2004. He married Reta McCormick September 8, 2007 in Cassopolis.
Delbert was passionate about his family and farming. He began farming as a child; he loved John Deere and would bleed green if you cut him. He enjoyed tractor pulls whether he was watching or competing in them. He loved being a part of FFA and pretty much went to school to enjoy being a part of it. Delbert was a feed salesman for Moormans Feed for twenty-three years. He had a natural ability to connect with people that made him a great salesman. He didn’t have customers; they were his friends. No one was a stranger in Delbert’s presence. He and Reta enjoyed wintering in Texas. He cherished his dogs and had a soft spot for his cocker spaniels.
Delbert will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife of fifteen years, Reta Rice of Dowagiac; one daughter, Kari (Darren) Watson of Cassopolis, one son, Owen (Marci) Rice of Cassopolis; two stepdaughters, Stacy Wilkey of Battle Creek, Holly Wilkey of Atlanta, Georgia; one stepson, Eric (Tricia) Wilkey of Battle Creek; three grandchildren, Savannah, Brady Lee, Chloe; two step grandchildren, Austin Lee, Tyler; two sister, Darlene (Steve) Roush of Cassopolis, Paula (Ron) Warner of Cassopolis; one brother, Alan Rice of Cassopolis; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Barbara Rice; and his sister-in-law Martha Rice.
Family and friends will gather Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, from 1 p.m. until time of service at 2 p.m. in Michiana Church of Christ, 500 East Prairie Ronde Street, Dowagiac, with The Reverend Greg Compton officiating.
Mr. Rice will be laid to rest in Prairie Grove Cemetery.
The family prefers contributions in memory of Delbert be made to the FFA, care of Ross Beatty High School, 22721 Diamond Cove Street, Cassopolis, Michigan 49031.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Wagner Family Funerals Connelly Chapel, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online: