Valdosta Daily Times

December 28, 2012

Frankie J. “Dee” (Bonnell) Rice


The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Frankie J. “Dee” (Bonnell) Rice went to be with the Lord on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla., at the age of 95. Dee was born in Valdosta, Ga., on Dec., 1917, to Jasper J. and Hattie Bonnell. She graduated from Valdosta High School and married her high school sweetheart, Joel N. Rice in 1935. She was an active member in Lee Street Baptist Church, where she began teaching Sunday School at the age of 12. In 1947, she moved to Dothan, Ala., and was a member of the First Baptist Church, leading the Children’s Choir. She spent most of her life in Jacksonville, Fla., where she was a very active member of several churches over the years. At Brentwood Baptist Church, she was instrumental in building the Youth Choir program. Dee was a member of Mayfair Baptist Church, where she faithfully taught Ladies Sunday School for over 40 years. She was also a member of Holiday Hill Baptist Church. In 2006, she moved to Tallahassee, Fla., to live with her daughter, Nancy, and joined Crossway Baptist Church. She and Joel had three children and her greatest accomplishments were being a loving wife, mother, homemaker, caregiver and Sunday School teacher. She was a gifted poet, pianist and master candy maker, often referred to as the “Doctor of Divinity.” Dee was a generous and loving person who always put others before herself. Throughout her life, she was a beautiful and refined lady who was positive and encouraging to all her friends and family. She loved the Lord and was especially proud to be a child of the King.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jasper and Hattie Bonnell; sisters, Mamie Probert, Bessie Lawson and Florence Rodgers; son-in-law, Walter Dodson; grandsons, Peter Rice and Brian Rice; and her loving husband, Joel N. Rice.

She is survived by her precious children, Nancy Rice Dodson; David Franklin Rice and wife, Mary; Thomas L. Rice and wife, Brenda. She cherished her grandchildren, Sheryll Goedert and husband, Karl; Cathy Meunier and husband, Chris; Amanda Romeo and husband, Ross; David Rice and wife, Andrea, Joel Rice and wife, Kristin; Nathan Rice; Melissa Rice; Tony Dodson and wife Laura; and Walter Craig Dodson. She was very proud of her great-grandchildren, Kasey Bickley, Casey Meunier, Chrysalin Meunier, Alex Bickley, Hank Goedert, Anna Goedert, Nikki Romeo, Ashley Romeo and Ian Pirrall, Holly Dodson and Jessica Kassees and husband Pete; and one great-great grandchild, Alec Stetson.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Crossway Baptist Church Building Fund, 405 Crossway Road, Tallahassee, FL 32305. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28 at Culley’s Funeral Home (1737 Riggins Road, Tallahassee, Fla.). Funeral service will be held at Crossway Baptist Church (405 Crossway Road, Tallahassee, Fla.) on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at 10 a.m. with burial at 2:30 p.m. in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta, Ga. — Culley’s Funeral Home