Mrs. Lillian Elizabeth Gothard Rice passed away on March 7, 2017 at Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital.
She was born on April 5, 1936 in Smithville, Tennessee. Lillian was the youngest of six children of Lee and Athon Gothard. Lillian was a longtime member of Smithville First Baptist Church where she served as organist for many years. She grew up and attended school in Smithville. She worked hard in school and was an excellent student. Upon graduation, she attended Belmont College and Stetson University in Deland, Florida where she majored in organ music. Motherhood intervened and she lovingly raised five children. Later in life, her dedication to academics led her to enroll at MTSU and commute to Murfreesboro until she earned her college degree.
Words cannot convey how profoundly we will miss her wonderful smile, warm embrace and loving words. No one could ever care for us in the special way that she did, but we can cherish the fond memories of our time with her. The way she motivated and inspired us. The way she uplifted us and made us laugh. Mostly, we will remember how loved we always felt in her presence, and that is the way she would want to be remembered.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by two sisters, Georgia Gothard Johns and Frances Gothard Chamberlain; and a brother, Karl Gothard.
Her memory will be cherished dearly by her surviving family members-husband, James Ed Rice, son James Ed Rice Jr. (Jim Ed) and wife Benni, son Joe Marshall Rice and wife Norma, daughters Trina Rice Graham, Tammy Rice Allen and husband Steve and Terre Rice Puckett and husband Jason; granddaughters Lee Elizabeth Rice Stonestreet and Andrea Austin Rice, grandsons James Ed Rice III (Jed), William Gregory Graham, Paul James Allen and Daniel Jason Puckett. She is also survived by a sister Alice Gothard McClary and a brother Walter Lee Gothard.
The family would like to thank our beloved physician, Dr. Hugh Don Cripps, and all of our dedicated caregivers for the compassionate care and kind attention given to our mother.
Visitation will be Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at Love-Cantrell Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and also on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at First Baptist Church in Smithville from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 1:00 p.m. Pallbearers will be James Ed Rice III (Jed), William Gregory Graham, Paul James Allen, Daniel Jason Puckett, Randy Gothard and Keith Gothard.
Interment will follow at DeKalb Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, First Baptist Church, or God's Pantry. Those donations can be made at the funeral home; however, please make all checks to the charity that you choose and not to the funeral home.
Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, Smithville, TN was in charge of the arrangements.