On Sunday, July 26, 2020, Travis Jack Rice was met by his Savior in paradise at the age of 85 years – two weeks shy of his 64th wedding anniversary to his beloved wife Marie. Though he had been looking forward to celebrating this milestone life achievement with a big party, our plans are not our own.
Travis Jack Rice was born on Monday October 22, 1934 in Poteau, OK to Homan and Norma Rice. In 1954 Travis enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Edwards Airforce Base in Lancaster, CA. While in the service, Jack was introduced to his soon to be wife Hazel Marie through a mutual friend in Oklahoma and they dated on and off for three years. In a letter he wrote from Edwards Airforce Base Jack requested Marie’s hand in marriage and they were wed in a small ceremony on August 11th, 1956 in the home of Jack’s mother. Jack and Marie would immediately move to California where they would begin their lifelong marriage. By 1958 Jack and Marie were expecting their first child, a daughter Linda, and later in 1961 their son Gerald arrived.
Although originally enlisted in the Airforce as an Airman for four years, Jack later enlisted in the United States Navy as a Hull Technician First Class for nearly twenty-one years of service to his country. In the Navy, Jack performed his duties as a Hull Technician that included metal working, welding, fabrication, ship-board firefighting, and pipe fitting. Over the course of his career Jack served on the USS Halsey Powell, USS St. Paul, USS AF DL 10, USS Dickson, and the USS Piedmont. Travis Jack’s time in the Navy took his family across the globe where they lived in Imperial Beach, CA, the Philippines, and Naples, Italy.
Upon retirement from his Navy service in 1977, Jack and Marie moved their family home to Seminole, OK where they built a home and farm where he spent the remainder of his life. On his farm, named Stately Oaks Ranch, Jack was known for raising bees and maintaining apiaries where he produced honey for many years. Jack was a gifted wood worker and produced many beautiful objects for his wife and family. Jack was also a talented vocalist and guitarist. He enjoyed praising the Lord with his voice in church and in his youth, Jack performed on a radio station based out of Oklahoma City playing his guitar and singing. One of Jack’s musical inspirations was artist Hank Snow and he loved playing his records while working. Jack was a devoted member of the Church of Christ at Little where he served the spiritual needs of himself, his family, and the community for many years. Jack’s devotion of character and consistency to the Lord, the church, and his family is an attribute that distinguished him as a faithful and loving man.
Jack was preceded in death by his brother Dub Rice, sister Eleanor Boyd, mother Norma Chandler and his father Homan Rice.
He will be loved, remembered and missed for generations to come by those who knew and loved him: His daughter, Linda Qualls and husband Zane of Moore, OK, son Gerald Rice and wife Kim of Euless, TX, and family member Jana Blalock of Shawnee, OK. Jack was the most loving and gentle Papa to two grandchildren: Lucas Qualls and wife Jennifer Qualls of OKC, OK, and Zachary Qualls of Tulsa, OK. He was blessed to enjoy his two great-grand-sons: Sullivan Qualls and Declan Qualls of OKC, OK.
The funeral service will be at 11:00, Thursday, July 30, 2020 at the Church of Christ at Little with Kirby Hinds officiating. Burial will follow at Little Cemetery. Casket bearers will be Roy Boydstun Larry Birdwell, Zane Qualls, Gerald Rice, Lucas Qualls, Zachary Qualls.
Masks and social distancing are required while attending the funeral.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society: by phone, call 1-800-227-2345, or mail: P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123; or to the Disabled American Veterans: by phone, call 877-647-VETS (8387), or mail: DAV – Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.
Arrangements are under the direction of Swearingen Funeral Home in Seminole, Oklahoma.
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