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Mary Rice

October 15, 1917 - March 9, 2005

Rice, Mary Ellen Voellinger, 87, of Woodsdale, Wheeling, W.Va., died Wednesday March 9, 2005, at home surrounded by her loving family.

Mary Ellen was born on October 15, 1917 and was the middle of three daughters of George Philip and Mayme Weir Voellinger.

She was the loving wife of Frank Logsdon Rice for 63 years and 9 months, and the beloved mother of their only child, Nancy Ellen Rice O’Leary.

In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Mary Ellen was a well-known educator and community leader.

She was a graduate of Mt. de Chantal Visitation Academy, West Liberty State College and
West Virginia University. She was also active in dramatic arts, having given numerous recitals and performed in theatrical presentations.

Mary Ellen was a teacher in Ohio County Schools for 30 years. She taught at the elementary level at Washington, Ritchie, Madison, Bethlehem, Bridge Street, and Steenrod Schools. She was the founder of the 1st private Kindergarten at Warwood Grade School, which was before early childhood education. She was recognized as an outstanding educator at the local, county, and state levels and is remembered fondly by her students.

Upon her retirement from Ohio County, she taught at Wheeling Country Day School and St. St. Michael’s School. She later became the 1st Director of Development at St. Michael’s. She also designed and taught a speed-reading course at the YWCA for 5 years. Involved in volunteer work and community activities throughout her entire life, Mary Ellen was known as the “President’s President.” She was the president of the Woman’s Club of Wheeling; Alpha Delta Kappa Educators Sorority, of which she was a charter member; the American Association of University Women; Alpha XI Delta Sorority; the Wheeling Jesuit University Charter Guild; the Mt. de Chantal Alumnae Association; the Junior Woman’s Club of Warwood; the Purple Hatters (past Jr. Woman’s Club presidents); and the Ohio County Retired Employees Association. She also served in leadership capacities and as a member, of Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary; St. Michael’s Christian Mothers; and the Catholic Daughters of America. She also served as registration chairman for the Oglebay LPGA Golf Tournament.

Mary Ellen, along with her daughter Nancy Ellen received the Clifford M. Lewis, S.J. Award from Wheeling Jesuit University in June 2004. This was given in recognition for her service and dedication to the university and for being a founding member of the Charter Guild. She also belonged to the National Education Association and was a State Life member of the PTA. An active church member, she was a Lector at St. Michael’s and served as Head of CCD and on Parish Council and the Pro-Life Committee. Her work for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs included: positions on the WV Federation’s State Council for 20 years, and on the Northern District Board for 15 years. In addition to serving as President of the Women’s Club of Wheeling from 1987-89, Mary Ellen was a Life Member and the “Outstanding” Advertising Chairman for the past 8 years. She was given a gold card 50 year membership from the state federation in March 2003 at the Greenbrier. Mary Ellen’s numerous achievements were recognized in “Personalities of the South” and “Who’s Who in American Education”

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Kitty Voellinger Williams; her brother-in-law Paul R. Williams; and a nephew, George Williams.

Surviving are her husband, Frank Logsdon Rice; her daughter Nancy Ellen Rice O’Leary and her son-in-law Jack O’Leary. She is also survived by a sister Nancy Voellinger Coleman; a brother-in-law Jack Coleman and two nieces, Ann Weir Coleman; and Mrs. John (Kathy) Banco; all of Wheeling; 2 nephews: Larry Williams of Warwood and Fred Williams of S.C.

Friends will be received on Friday, March 11, 2005 from 1 p.m. until 5 pm and from 6 pm until 9pm at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Elm Grove Chapel, 154 Kruger Street, Wheeling. The vigil service will be held at 4:30 pm at the funeral home. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12, 2005 at St. Michael Catholic Church, Woodsdale, with the Rev. Anthony Cincinnati, pastor and the Rev. Walter Buckius, S.J. Moderator of the Charter Guild of Wheeling Jesuit University, as co-celebrants.

Interment in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mt. de Chantal Visitation Academy, Wheeling Jesuit University Scholarship Program of St. Michael’s Development Fund.

Mary Ellen was cherished by her family and will be greatly missed by her husband, daughter, and son-in-law. Their wish now is that “God will keep her in the palm of his hands” and that the “angels will lead her into paradise.”

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyer.com


Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Friday, March 11, 2005

Time: 1:00 pm

End Time: 5:00 pm

Location:

Altmeyer Funeral Home - Elm Grove

154 Kruger Street
Wheeling, WV 26003


Time: 6:00 pm

End Time: 9:00 pm

Location:

Altmeyer Funeral Home - Elm Grove

154 Kruger Street
Wheeling, WV 26003


Service Information

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2005

Time: 10:00 am

Location:

St. Michael Catholic Church - Wheeling

1225 National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003


Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2005

Location:

Mt. Calvary Cemetery Wheeling

National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003


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Thank you so much for taking care of the family during this difficult time. You did a super job. May God bless you.