Madonna Elizabeth Rice, of San Diego, CA passed away on Oct 16, 2019 at the age of 96.
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She is survived by her sweetheart and devoted husband of 67 years, Robert L. “Bob” Rice; 9 children: Mary Farace (Joe), Parker CO; Theresa Rice, Sparks, NV; Robert “Bob” Rice, Jr. (Barbara), Vero Beach, FL; John Rice, Fort Drum, FL; Kathleen Rice-Dutton (David), Sparks, NV; James “Jim” Rice (Lois), Vero Beach, FL; Marjory “Marjie” Rice, Sparks, NV; Thomas Rice, Reno, NV, Elizabeth Pawlikowski, Sparks, NV. 16 grandchildren: Shawna Rice, Sparks, NV; Chenoa (Charlie) Cacho, Arlington, TX; Sarah Caliendo, Burlington, VT; Jason Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Amy Rice, Vero Beach, FL; William “Billy” Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Paulina Dutton, Hollywood, CA; Julianna Dutton, Reseda, CA; Joseph Dutton, Reseda, CA; Lucas Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Ryan Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Kathryn Rice, Casa Grande, AZ; Kristina Rice, Reno, NV; Kyle Rice, Reno, NV; Elizabeth Rice, Port St. Lucie, FL; Dustin Pawlikowski, Sparks, NV; Jacelyn Pawlikowski, Reno, NV; 10 great grandchildren: David Rice San Diego, CA and Spain; Christian Rice, Spokane WA; Julius Rice-Misa, Sparks, NV; Justice Rice-Misa, Sparks, NV; Aidan Cacho, Arlington, TX; Shane Cacho, Arlington, TX; Olive Rochin, Casa Grande, AZ; Sophia Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Paislee Rodriquez, Reno, NV; BraLaiya Rodriquez, Reno, NV; 1 sister: Jewell Ludwig, Bloomington, IL; 1 cousin: Maureen Magnuson, Oxnard, CA; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Pauline Breitbach, Dubuque, IA; her father, Francis Halliday, Clinton, IA; 2 sisters: Pauline “Little Pauline” Halliday, Dubuque, IA; Mary Alice Bayless, Las Cruces, NM; a granddaughter, Brigette Chouest, Hollywood, CA.
She was born on August 2, 1923 in Lattnerville, IA (Graff, IA in rural Dubuque County) the third of four daughters. She graduated from Mt. St. Clare (now Ashford University) in Clinton IA. She graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Burlington, IA and was a registered nurse. She married the love of her life Bob Rice on May 24, 1952 and she was always by his side supporting him with love for 67 years. Their marriage was truly one of soulmates. She was a devout Catholic all her life and belonged to Sacred Heart Church of Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA and St. Catherine Laboure’ Catholic Church, San Diego, CA and most recently St. Anne Catholic Church, San Diego, CA. She was devoted to The Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and St. Gerard. She passed away on the feast day of St. Gerard, the patron saint of mothers. She was very active and independent and was driving until she was 92. She fought bravely with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She maintained her quick wit and sense of humor until the end. Everyone who cared for her for three weeks at Scripps Mercy Hospital, 10th floor, loved her and appreciated her quick wit. She was equally as compassionate to everyone who cared for her as they were to her. Her love of God came through daily in her compassion for everyone she met. She will be greatly missed by her sweetheart, all of her family and her loving neighbors, Tiffany Ewing, Agata Nowakowska, Blair Madrid and Dave Stowers who truly were her family in San Diego, caring for her. She will always be remembered for blowing kisses when saying goodbye and she would often wink at you, even when she was ill, to acknowledge her love for you. She loved coffee, ice cream, donuts, chocolate and all sweets. While she was at Scripps Mercy Hospital, she was treated to the wonderful music therapy musicians who carefully selected songs that were her favorites. She loved hearing them sing “You Are My Sunshine” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and loved participating in their sing-alongs. When one of the singers sang “You Are My Sunshine” to her, in a very emotional and heartfelt performance, Madonna was so taken with this song and this singer that she said to the singer, “Awe, who took your sunshine away? I am sorry”. That was the perfect example of the love and compassion she shared with everyone she met. She is happily blowing kisses to us all from heaven.
This is from Shawna Rice, her granddaughter:
This morning one of the brightest sparks of love I have have known in this world departed her earthly home. She was surrounded by love and her constant sweetheart was at her side while she took her last breath. She lived a very full 96 years and in that time had 9 children and a slew of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There are not enough words to convey the love I have for this beautiful woman. She was unique, eccentric, wonderful and my grandma. She was a constant in my life and I appreciate the amount of time my life was blessed with her presence. To quote grandma “time marches on and the party never stops". Grandma, I hope heaven is all that you hoped for and I hope they are ready for you and the party you bring everywhere you go. I love you, always. Thank you for taking care of me.
From Kathleen Rice-Dutton, her daughter:
Our Mother Madonna has
Passed away peacefully
This morning at 4:15 a.m.
When my sister told me I really
Felt this peaceful feeling come over me. Because l
Knew that she is now with
GOD. She lived her whole life Loving God . She was
An amazing person, and
and she affected so many
peoples lives in such a
Positive way.she will never be forgotten.She was a
Wonderful Wife,Mother,and friend.
I feel I was blessed by GOD to have been born her daughter. Her body is gone
but her spirit will remain with us all.
I can not say goodbye,only
that I will see you again my
God bless you
From Elizabeth Pawlikowski, her daughter:
I haven't been able to find the words, but here it goes.....
On October 16, 2019, at 4:15am, Madonna Elizabeth Rice, my dear sweet beautiful Momma passed away peacefully after her battle with metastatic breast cancer. She fought so hard! I cared for her in her final days as she once cared for me. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but I wouldn't change it for anything! My dear sweet devoted Daddy, her "Sweetheart", was by her side as she took her last breath.
My sweet Momma kept her spunk and sense of humor until her last days. She would wink at us and smile. On a good day she would thoroughly enjoy chocolate, donuts and coffee.
She was such a role model to me. She taught me so much! How to be kind to others, how to be a giving person, how to love, how to nurture, how to be a Mother, how to be strong and never give up and how to pray and turn to God. She was always such a ray of sunshine in my life! She had so much spunk and sparkle! So sweet, loving, giving and kind. She was one of a kind, a beautiful soul here on earth for the time we all had her. She touched so many lives and was loved by so many. My life is forever changed and I will miss her for the rest of my life! Rest in peace in paradise my dear sweet precious Momma! I love you so much!