- Cullman, Alabama

April 20, 2013

Margaret Emily Rice

Hanceville Funeral Home

— Margaret Emily Rice

Margaret Emily Rice died Saturday, April 13, 2013, at the age of 91. She was born in Manorville, Long Island, N.Y., December 14, 1921. She is the daughter of the late Phillip and Agnes Donovan Dittmeier. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Erskine Hewlet Rice; three sisters, Agnes McGunnigle and Mary Saneski of Long Island, N.Y., and Eleanor Cabri of Cullman; a brother, Phillip Dittmeier of Long Island; and her grandson, John Erskine Rice of Hanceville.

Mrs. Rice is survived by her son, Peter Hewlet (Pamela) Rice of Hanceville; two granddaughters, Donna Michelle Rice of Hanceville and Candece Rice (Michael) Adkins of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; two great-granddaughters, Kelsey Irene Adkins and MaKenzie Elizabeth Adkins of Lawrenceburg. Survivors also include numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Margaret moved to Hanceville in 1946. She and her husband owned and operated the Imperial Barber/Beauty Shop. She was active in the Hanceville area serving in many roles for the improvement of her community. Her service included chairperson of the Hanceville Centennial Celebration, chairperson for the Centennial Parade, chairperson for the Cullman County Christmas Parade (as a member of the Hanceville Civitan Club). Mrs. Rice was instrumental in getting signs placed on all the city streets in Hanceville, something she was most proud of. She, along with several other like-minded individuals, formed a search committee to bring a doctor and medical office to Hanceville. Mrs. Rice was an active member of the Democratic Party, serving for years as beat committee person in Hanceville as well as Bremen. She served as president of the Alabama Chapter of the National Hairdressers Association and as secretary for the National Association. She worked tirelessly as a leader in her church, especially at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Hanceville where she spearheaded efforts at renovation and preservation of the 130-year-old structure. She was active in various prayer groups and used her home as a venue for numerous gatherings of both Catholic and interfaith meetings.

After retiring from the hairdresser business, due to health issues, she continued to work as office manager for Dr. Vorganti, MD and Dr. Darnell, DDM. She also worked as a hostess at the Holiday Inn in Good Hope, sales associate at Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, and bookkeeper for several businesses in the Hanceville area. Her real love was working in her yard riding the tractor or her favorite John Deer lawn mower.

She was a loving mother and grandmother, aunt, loyal friend, and a gracious lady. The world was a better place for her presence. She will be missed by all, young and old. Ask them and they will tell you they were blessed to have known her.

Her funeral mass was celebrated Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at St. Boniface Catholic Church with Rev. Patrick Egan, O.S.B. officiating. Concelebrating were Rev. John O’Donnell, O.S.B., Rev. Marcus Clark, O.S.B., and Rev. Bede Marcy, O.S.B. Interment was at New Prospect Cemetery in Hanceville, AL. 

Honorary pallbearers were Phillip Cabri, Joe Cabri, Francis Cabri, John Cabri, Michael Adkins and Mark Addison.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers you please make donations to: the  Stained Glass Window Fund for St. Boniface Catholic Church in Hanceville or the New Prospect Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund.