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BIG SANDY W. Alfred Rice, 73, Big Sandy-area farmer and rancher, died Tuesday, March 5, 2002, at a Big Sandy medical facility of natural causes.

Funeral service is 2 p.m. Monday at the Rohrer Memorial United Methodist Church in Big Sandy with Pastor Marvin Eldrige officiating. Burial to follow at the Big Sandy Cemetery. Fellowship luncheon to follow burial at the church.

Alfred was born Oct. 12, 1928, to Walter A. and Carrie (Allderdice) Rice at Big Sandy. He attended Rice Country School and Big Sandy High School. He was active in Future Farmers of America and school sports.

On May 20, 1950, Alfred married Irene Shurtliff at Havre. The couple remained married until he died.

After high school, Alfred worked for area farmers and ranchers Pratt and Svens, and on a gravel crusher outside of Saco. He purchased and operated the Starway Texaco Station from 1952 through 1956. Alfred also helped his father-in-law, Harry Shurtliff, to move houses and buildings. He was a farmer and rancher in the Big Sandy area from 1957 until the time of his death.

He became a member of Oddfellows Lodge #124 on Feb. 3, 1954. He also joined Rebekah Lodge #113; Canton #11; and Encampment #14; which are all subcommittees of the I.O.O.F. He served as vice grand in 1965, noble grand in 1966, and pass grand in 1967. He served as district deputy grandmaster in 1970. He was grandmaster of the Montana Division of I.O.O.F. in 1979 through 1980.

He was also a member of the Big Sandy Saddle Club. He enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, reading western novels, watching western movies, playing with his grandchildren, and playing cards.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter A. Rice and Carrie Allderdice Rice; sister, Anna Pearl Whetham.

Survivors include his wife, Irene Shurtliff Rice of Big Sandy; daughter, AlReen Jensen of Kalispell; sons, Rockey of Ft. Benton, Wade of Big Sandy, Clay of Vinemont, Ala., Will of Big Sandy, Ben of Big Sandy; sisters, Florence Culhane of Minneapolis, Minn., Alfreda Patera of Havre, Stella Lamb of Saco, Betty Cossart of Bonners Ferry, Idaho; brothers, Fred Rice of Havre, Howard Rice of Kalispell, George Rice of Big Sandy; eight grandchildren.

Memorials in Alfred's honor may be made to: Future Farmers of America, Big Sandy High School, Big Sandy, MT 59520, or Big Sandy Medical Center, Box 530, Big Sandy, MT 59520.

Services and arrangements are under the direction of the Holland and Bonine Funeral Home in Havre.


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