The Rev. Dr. Charles Theodore Rice Sr., 71, passed away unexpectedly, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A funeral service was July 8 at First United Methodist Church of Keller, followed by a graveside service in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
The Rev. Dr. Charles Theodore Rice Sr. was born to Thomas Theodore and Melva Price Rice on May 20, 1943, in Young County. Following his graduation from Graham High School in 1960, he received a call from his Lord into the full-time ministry. While attending Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, he spent weekends as a “preacher boy” serving Methodist congregations in the Texas towns of Thornton, Riesel’s Meier Settlement, China Spring, Mesquite and Stephenville.
After his graduation from TWC in 1964, he entered Perkins School of Theology at SMU where he graduated in 1968 and was ordained an elder in the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 1970, Dr. Rice was appointed pastor of First United Methodist Church of Keller, where he met his bride, Tanya Janette Stapp, of Fort Worth.
It was there that they were married July 3, 1971.
During their 43 years of marriage, Tanya was by his side serving the Lord and his people at the First United Methodist churches of Mansfield, Mexia, Corsicana and Graham.
Dr. Rice also served as campus minister and director of the Wesley Foundation at TCU, where he attended Brite Divinity School and received his doctorate of ministry in 1981.
Charles and Tanya retired to Lake Whitney only to be led to minister to the congregation of Zion United Church of the UCC in Womack, then as association minister of the North Texas Association, and most recently as pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reform Church of the UCC in Dallas.
When officiating at funerals for those whose days on earth were done, he spoke of them passing from the church militant to the church triumphant. He has certainly done just that.
His passion was being a minister to all people and leading them to Christ. He loved family, laughing, teasing and a good game of “42.” After 54 years in the ministry of the Gospel, he was welcomed home with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant, well done.”
He was loved by all who knew him as family, friend, pastor, mentor, husband, father and especially as “Granddaddy.”
Dr. Rice was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Tanya of Oak Point; son, Chuck and wife Liz of Frisco; daughter, Amy Reed and husband Ben of Little Elm; grandchildren, Abby, Hanna, Jackson and Madeline Rice, and Chandler, Corben and Coleman Reed; sisters, Ann House and husband Mike of Summer Shade, Kentucky, Loretta Allen and husband Randy of Tyler and Cindy James of Jacksonville; sisters-in-law, Theressa Clark and husband James of Sunrise Beach and Theretta Praslicka and husband Frank of Keller; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.