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Maria Ellen Rice, 34, died in Knoxville Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011.
Ms. Rice was the beloved daughter of Eugene and Pauline McIntosh Rice of Erwin.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents of Flag Pond, Richard and Axie Fender McIntosh and Parley and Edith Pate Rice.
Survivors include three devoted brothers and their wives, Michael and Gail Rice, Erwin, Marvin and Belinda Rice, St. Louis, Mo., and Alan Rice, Layton, Utah; two nieces and a nephew whom she adored, Hannah Rice, Chloe Rice and David Alan Rice; several aunts and uncles, Martha and Warren Ricker, Garland and Eunice McIntosh, Kenneth McIntosh, Howard and Vonda Lee McIntosh, Foy and Nancy McIntosh, Andy and Debbie McIntosh, Robert and Martha Rice, Mary Sue and Phillip Mashburn, Brenda and Jerry Bennett, and Ivan Rice; many wonderful cousins and a host of friends, including teachers, relatives, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and people she served in her employment.
She was a graduate of Unicoi County High School and East Tennessee State University. She received her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee at Memphis. She was employed as a pharmacist at Mercy Hospital (formerly known as St. Mary’s) in Knoxville. She was a member of Phi Delta Chi and Thi Lamba Sigma.
Her shortened life was full of movement. At UCHS, she participated in many activities, including band, track and long distance running. She played lively piano melodies and created beautiful works of art. She left behind a collection of poetry and short stories. Mountains summoned her, and she simply liked to walk in their beauty – always a lover of flowers, rejoicing in planting them and enjoying their glorious array.
One of her poems held these words: “As I pass under the pure diamond raindrops of winter’s last tree, I see a reflection of what I was meant to be. To become a part of something great yet still maintain my identity. Flowing through the undercurrents and floating – One base note slides, slides down to one raindrop of resonance and harmony.”
Funeral services were held at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, from the Robert Ledford Funeral Home Chapel with Bishop John Edwards and Daniel McIntosh officiating.
Committal services were held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, at Evergreen Cemetery.
Active pallbearers were Daniel McIntosh, Bruce Mashburn, Kevin Mashburn, Drew McIntosh, Aaron McIntosh, Patrick McIntosh, Chris McIntosh and Robbie McIntosh. Honorary pallbearers were Hannah Rice, Chloe Rice and David Alan Rice.
Robert Ledford Funeral Home was in charge.