Elder Watha Caudill Rice, 91, of Peterstown, WV, departed this life for his heavenly home Friday afternoon at Riverview Nursing Home in Rich Creek, VA. Born in the Clendennin Community of Giles County on September 21, 1919 he was a son of the late Henry Cecil and Nellie Janney Rice and step-son of the late Bertha Lawson Rice. Watha was a devout Christian, an ordained Elder in The Church of Jesus Christ and at Bethel Chapel, had pastored The Church of Jesus Christ in Pembroke and earlier had worked with his brother, Evangelist Manuel Rice. He worshiped faithfully at Bethel Chapel in Clendennin and at The Church of Jesus Christ in Kingsport, TN when he could. He was a master electrician retired from the Celanese Celco Plant at Narrows and on many construction jobs including the new building at Bethel Chapel when he was 88 years old. He was a veteran of the U S Army, WW II. Watha was preceded in death by his parents, his son William Watha Rice, his first wife Frankie Tate Rice and his second wife Anna Grace Rice; his sisters Thelma Austin, Louise Ratcliffe, Alice Stuart, Eula Noble, Lois Blankenship, Wanda Hale and his brothers Dauford Rice, Frank Rice, and Evangelist Manuel Rice.
He leaves to cherish his memory his wife Delma Wills Rice; his son and daughter-in-law Donald and Frankie Rice of Peterstown; his daughters and sons-in-law Phyllis and Harold Woodward of Rochelle, VA, Evelyn Shubert of Oklahoma City, OK, Sue Woods of Cleveland TN, Nancy and John Thompson of Pembroke, Jeanie and Louis Nuzzo of High Point, NC; his step-sons and their wives Albert and Shirley Kelly of Seattle, WA and Roy and Jenny Dillon of PA; his brothers Mason Rice of Dublin, Paul Rice of Salem, H C Rice of Salem, and Mark Rice of Pembroke; his sisters Cleo Tate of Pearisburg, Ethel Tickle Burkholder of Salem, Reba Smith of Florida, Sharon Carbaugh of Blacksburg; his fourteen grandchildren , his twenty great-grandchildren, and his eight great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm at Bethel Chapel in the Clendennin Community near Narrows with Pastor Eddie Kendall and Pastor Tony Andolfi, and Sister Mildred Osborne speaking. Burial will follow in the Peterstown Cemetery at Rich Creek, with graveside military rites by the American Legion Posts in Peterstown, Narrows, and Pembroke and the VFW Post in Narrows. The family will receive friends at the Kendall Funeral Home, 605 Snidow St., Pembroke, Monday evening from 6 to 8 pm. Online condolences may be sent by visiting kendallfuneralhome.com.