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Lake Johnson Rice

Lake Johnson Rice, age 93 of Erwin, passed away quietly after a short illness on Monday, July 13, 2015 at her residence. She was born in Wilder, VA to the late Ira and Delphia Kiser Johnson, grew up in Cleveland, VA, and lived most of her life in Erwin, TN. She graduated from Milligan College in 1942 where she met her future husband. Lake was the May Queen her senior year at Milligan College. Interestingly, during World War II she worked for a short time at Oak Ridge, where she was indirectly involved in helping to produce the first atomic bomb. Mrs. Rice taught at the Unicoi County High School for 20 years where she primarily taught English and Business courses. After the passing of her husband, Robert E. Rice, Lake lived independently for 35 years atop “Elephant’s Back Hill” in Erwin. She loved her family and taking care of her many adopted critter friends.

Lake Johnson Rice leaves behind to cherish her memories:
Children: Robert Rice, Jr. and wife, Paulette of Lilburn, GA,
Rebecca Williams and husband, Phil of Sandestin, FL,
Mike Rice and wife, Connie of Unicoi;
Grandchildren: Robert Rice, Matt Rice, Mary Rice, Kristy Cole, Kelly McIntyre, Joseph Rice, and Amy Michelle Harrison;
6 Great Grandchildren;

The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Mountain States Hospice for all of their care and support.

The family respectfully requests the honor of your presence as we offer tribute and remember the life of Lake Johnson Rice in a committal service to be held on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM at Evergreen Cemetery. Minister Robert Bess will officiate. Those who wish to attend will meet at Evergreen Cemetery by 10:50 AM.

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