Darrell L. Rice

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Darrell L. Rice

May 28, 1939 – February 6, 2016
 
Darrell L. Rice, 76, of Willmar, died Saturday, February 6th, at his home after an 8 year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  His funeral will be 11:00 am, Saturday, February 13th at Hope Lutheran Church in Sunburg.  Burial will be in Spring Creek Cemetery at a later date.   Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post #167.  Visitation will be from 5-7:00 pm, Friday at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.  www.hafh.org

Memorials may be given to West Central Dementia Awareness Network, C/O Compassionate Care, 601 4th St SW, Willmar, MN 56201.
 
Darrel and his twin sister, Darlene, were born on May 28, 1939, on the Rice family homestead, in Kerkhoven Township, Swift County, near Sunburg, the son of Millard and Gladys (Ronholdt) Rice.  He attended country school and graduated from Kerkhoven High School in 1957. Darrell served in the United States Army from 1959-1961, having spent time stationed in Alaska where he developed a love for cross-country skiing, a passion that he shared with his granddaughters, Haley and Hannah.
 
Following his discharge, he returned to the Sunburg area and on February 19, 1963, he was united in marriage to Betty Hauge.  They farmed and raised their daughters before moving into Willmar in 1985.  Darrell worked for many years in manufacturing and roofing.  He was an extremely hard-working man who prided himself on his physical fitness, often challenging many of his nephews to races and contests of strength and endurance.  Darrell spent countless hours push mowing everyone’s lawns as part of his fitness regimen.  He greatly enjoyed hunting with his brothers and nephews, where again, there was much good-natured competition and endless laughter.   He also was a tremendous help to his daughters over the years with numerous home maintenance and remodeling projects.  Darrell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008 but thanks to the love and devotion of his family he was able to live his final years in the comfort of his home.
 
Surviving are the love of his life, Betty; his daughters, Julie Rice and Jody (and Dan) Beech; he was an adoring grandfather to, Haley and Hannah; twin sister, Darlene (and Julius) Carstens; sister, Linda Walsh and brother, Allan (and Marcia) Rice; in addition to many nieces, nephews and their families.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents, Millard and Gladys; brothers: William (Bill) Rice and Roger Rice; sisters: Ann Netland, Marjorie Rice and Vernae Renville as well as nephews, Bob and Jeff Renville and Gary Netland.  There is great solace in knowing Darrell is reunited with his beloved brother, Roger, whose name he continued to speak even in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s.  His amazingly kind and gentle mother, Gladys, will have welcomed him to the heavens where he’ll be greeted with the beautiful sound of his sister, Vernae’s, laughter as the family is reunited.  That is of great consolation to those of us left behind.  Darrell left this world surrounded in love by Betty, Julie, Jody, Allan and family friend, Kris Nelson-Jensen.  He will be missed terribly but has left his physical suffering behind.

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