Mirl Rice

Obituary of Mirl Rice

Mirl Jean Withers Rice was born May 13, 1943, in Shreveport, Louisiana, and she went to be with Our Lord on September 24, 2017, after a valiant struggle with illness. Jean was preceded in death by her parents, her older sister, her younger sister, her younger brother, and her husband. She is survived by her daughter, Cecelia, and son-in-law, Jeff Stewart; her granddaughters, Samantha Holt and husband, Robin; and Charity Stewart, and her great-granddaughter, Kira. She also leaves behind her nephew, Joey Malloy; and her niece, Penny Jinks; and many dear neighbors and friends.

Jean grew up in Ida, Louisiana, and moved to Coos Bay, Oregon, where she married Carl Rice and lived for a few years, until settling down in Cashiers, North Carolina, where she lived the remainder of her life. Jean was strong, resilient, fun-loving, and loyal to her God, her family, and her friends, and she leaves a legacy of perseverance, love, and Christian faith. Whether she was called Jean, Mom, or Granny, Jean's love and strength proved itself through her protection and generosity. She taught all of us that faith and trust in Jesus Christ sustains us in all circumstances and that God has a plan for all things. Even in her illness of the last couple of years, Jean often said, "Put God first, and He will work it all out."

Jean was not a woman to shy away from difficult situations. She approached life head-on with humor, extraordinary common sense, a tender heart, patience, and straightforward advice. Jean could tell a funny story on herself, encourage the troubled, joke at her own problems, and testify to God's goodness at the same time, all while preparing dinner for the entire family. Whether facing a bear blocking the road or facing a village shaman trying to block a Bible lesson, Jean trusted God with her very being, and we are confident that she is with her Savior now. She leaves this world a better place for having journeyed through it and touched all of us with her love and humor. We will miss you, Jean.

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