Mavis J. Rice


Mavis J. Rice

Mrs. Mavis Joy Kelso Rice, age 91 of Tyler, Texas, and Hilltop Lakes, Texas, passed away Tuesday, March 19.

Mrs. Rice was born on Aug. 8, 1927, in Gonzales, Texas, to parents, Horace and Esther Kelso.

An avid basketball player growing up, Mavis graduated from Gonzales High School in 1945, and immediately went to work with Southern Pacific in Houston. 

Soon after meeting co-worker Alma Jean Rice, she found herself riding with her to pick up her brother, John Henry Rice, who was getting home from the Navy, and it was love at first sight! They married six months later, on Feb. 14, 1946, in a small ceremony.

After giving birth to their first child, Steve, in Houston, Texas, John Henry’s degree in petroleum engineering sent them overseas to several countries, where Craig and Gayle were born in Caracas, Venezuela.

Everyone who knew Mavis was drawn to her by her quiet confidence, genuine interest in others, and energetic, likeable personality. Two of her favorite collection pieces were butterflies, and Betty Boop memorabilia.

She is survived by her son, John Steven Rice, of Houston, Texas; daughter and son-in-law, Gayle and David Middleton, of Villa Rica, Ga.; four grandchildren: Justin Rice Middleton (and wife, Audrey Puryear Middleton), Joshua David Middleton (and wife, Carly Kurdelmeier Middleton), Grace Elizabeth Middleton, and Grant Andrew Middleton; and four great-grandchildren.

She was laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler, Texas, next to her husband, John Henry, and son, Timothy Craig Rice.