April 4, 1934 ~ December 20, 2021

Born in: Afton, OK
Resided in: Pueblo, CO

Helen Koonce Rice, 87, who was blessed with a life of love and generosity for family and friends, peacefully slipped away at home Dec. 20, 2021. She was born on April 4, 1934, in Afton, Okla. to the union of Howard Marion and Helen Irene (Mercer) Koonce.
Helen dedicated her life to the loving care of her husband and children. She married Robert “Bob” Dale Rice on May 6, 1952, in Pueblo, Colo. They were the epitome of love and partnership.
Helen took an active interest in all of her daughters’ activities. She rarely missed a tennis match, horse show, or swim meet. And she was always looking for creative methods to enhance the learning environment of her daughters.
Helen was a former member of PEO Chapter EE and a supporter of Cottey College. She was a volunteer bookkeeper with Day Stay for Adults and a volunteer with the American Heart Association. Helen was also an avid reader and loved to draw and paint.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband; parents; brother and sister in-law, Howard Lee and Dorothy (Perry) Koonce; in-laws Pauline Mary (Hennessey) and William Dale Rice; nieces, Julie (Randy) Barela and Allison Graham.
Helen will be dearly missed by her daughters, Cindy, Robin and Annette Rice (Phillip Sweat); granddaughter, Kimberly (Vincent) Abeyta; brother and sister in-law, Joe and Geri (Arrigo) Koonce; sister and brother in-law, Marlene and John Graham; and nieces, nephews and caring friends, especially David and Barb Lytle.
Helen was patient, kind, forgiving, and understanding, the living example of 1st Corinthians 13:1. We will miss her ability to listen and nurture.
We are thankful for the loving care she received from Sangre de Cristo Community Care Hospice.
Viewing, 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, in the Montgomery & Steward Chapel. Service, 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, at Ascension and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 400 W. 18th Street, with The Rev. Karen LaJoy Smith presiding.
The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to their favorite charity in Helen’s name. Online condolences, www.MontgomerySteward.com


Funeral Service: December 27, 2021 11:00 am

Ascension Episcopal Church
18th Street & Grand Ave.
Pueblo, CO 81003


Graveside Service: December 27, 2021 12:00 pm

Mountain View Cemetery
1315 Acero Avenue
Pueblo, CO 81004


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  1. My first real job was at the lumberyard in the fall of 1969 until I went into the Army in Sept. 1970. Your dad would send me over to the house and the 3 of you girls would come out. I don’t remember what I did over there but your mother was always nice to me. It was at the funeral home (then Rouch) that I got my start in the funeral business in 1983 and still work in Kansas City. My parents also went through the funeral home. I last was at the lumberyard visiting about 1991.

    • Hi Terry thank you. I will not be attending the srvice as I am on oxygen at home. Thy are going to live stream it so I and my friends can see it

  2. To Robin Rice,

    Very sorry to read about the loss of your mother. I remember meeting your parents when we worked together in Senator Armstrong’s office. I hope you are doing well.

    Dick Wadhams

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