Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Bernice “Bimbe” Rice

Bernice Rice 07202016Bernice “Bimbe” Rice, age 60, of Erwin, passed away on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at Holston Valley Medical Center. Bernice was a native of Unicoi County and a daughter of Mary Ellen Shorter Smith and the late Emory Smith. She was formerly the office manager of Vision Tool and Die, Inc. Bernice loved children and flowers. She enjoyed vacationing in Daytona and being on the beach enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. She was a member of Evergreen Freewill Baptist Church. In addition to her father, Bernice was preceded in death by one daughter, Penny Rice; sisters, Ada Yates, Wanda Foster, and Dolly Casey; brother, Bobby “Rooster-Bird” Smith; brothers-in-law, Harold Richardson and Roger Casey; and two infant grandchildren.


Bernice Rice has left behind to cherish her memories:

Mother: Mary Ellen Shorter Smith, of Erwin;

Husband of 42 years: James Michael “Mike” Rice, of Erwin;

Children: Candy Ruston and husband Jamie, of Erwin;

Jamie Allen Rice and wife Melissa, of Erwin;

Deanna Oaks and husband Dustin; of Erwin;

Sisters: Nancy McNabb and husband Junior, of Chuckey;

Judy Richardson, of Jonesborough;

Jewel Hensley and husband Alfred, of Erwin;

Polly Butler, of Erwin;

Ruby Shell and husband Darrell, of Erwin

Grandchildren: Jordan, Emilee, Rylee, Lilee, Madison, and Cadence;

Friends: Jamie Harris, close as a son; Jennifer Hensley, like a daughter.


The family respectfully requests the honor of your presence as we celebrate the life of Bernice Rice in a funeral service to be at 2:00 PM, Saturday, July 16, 2016 at Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church. Reverend Noah Taylor will officiate. A visitation period to share memories and offer support to the family will begin at 12:00 PM and continue until service time on Saturday at Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church. A graveside service will be held following the service on Saturday at Evergreen Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Jamie Harris, Phillip Shell, Dustin Oaks, Ronnie Hensley, Donnie Hensley, and Jamie Ruston.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

In honor of Lillian Anders

3333 Burnet Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45229


Condolences and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at These arrangements were made especially for the family and friends of Bernice Rice through Valley Funeral Home, 1085 N. Main Ave, Erwin, 423-743-9187.