John Tate Rice

March 26, 1948November 9, 2020

John Tate Rice passed away on November 9, 2020. He was born in Logan, West Virginia on March 26, 1948 to James and Kathleen Rice. He was preceded in death by his devoted wife, Mary Elizabeth DeShazo Rice and his parents. John received his Bachelor of Arts from Marshall University in 1970 and Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1973. He was admitted to the bar in Tennessee and South Carolina in 1974. John was also a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

As a lawyer, John was known and respected as a fierce advocate for his clients, and tried numerous jury and non-jury cases. He served as a member of the board of the Chattanooga Bar Association from 1985 to 1987 and from 2007 to 2011. John was elected to serve as the Chattanooga Bar’s President in 2010, and was honored as a Fellow of the Chattanooga Bar Foundation in 2011. Many knew John as a talented chef who loved to share his gift of cooking with friends and family, and he was an avid fan of Tennessee football. John was a member of First Centenary United Methodist Church. He is survived by his three daughters Elizabeth Bowling Rice, Hannah Tate Rice, Miriam Robertson Rice, grandson Hank John Marx; brothers, James M. Rice, Jr., Richard E. Rice; sister, Martha R. Kerns and several nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank Regina Collis, his secretary of 43 years, for her dedication and loyalty to John.

If you would like to honor John's memory donations may be made to Operation Smile, Children's Hospital at Erlanger and First Centenary United Methodist Church.

Arrangements entrusted to Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services Franklin -Strickland Chapel, 1724 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN, 37404, 423-265-4414. Please visit our website to share your memories:



No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Show Your


John Tate Rice

have a memory or condolence to add?

Brian Harrison

November 19, 2020

John was a great guy. He always had a joke to tell and I can't ever remember him without a big smile on his face. He will be missed.

Jill Turner

November 17, 2020

Rest in peace my friend .

Johnny Houston

November 15, 2020

An absolute great lawyer, great guy and great VOLS fan. I was always amazed by the quality and quantity of work he could produce. Always enjoyed seeing him at the Sportsbarn. He would often stop on his way to the locker room and watch us play racquetball. Referred criminal cases to me which I took as his confidence that I would treat his referrals well. As we all know, a fierce advocate but always an intelligent, thoughtful and fearless person. So sad to hear of his passing. I will miss him.

Harvey Cameron

November 14, 2020



John Yantis

November 14, 2020

I have known John since I started practicing law in 1977. We were always on opposite sides and tried several jury trials against each other. He was always very well prepared and a fierce advocate. I valued his opinion. I am sorry for your loss. We will miss him. John Yantis

Carolynn McMahan

November 13, 2020

Our deepest sympathies. I so remember all the great times with John and Mary with my brothers, John and James, especially at Cameron Hill and Nikki's. We will miss John. Love and hugs, Carolynn McMahan and Wesley Moore.

Donna Cooper

November 13, 2020

John and Mary were members of our Sunday School class, and John came to class while Mary was teaching and working with youth every Sunday. Each Sunday before he left the class, John would tell us a "Mary story" about some adventure or mishap of his precious wife. I loved his smile - like the one in this picture that the girls selected. He lit up when he talked of his Mary, his precious daughters, and his wonderful grandson. I will miss him. Mary, give him an extra hug for Clint and Donna.

Jan Quinn

November 13, 2020

Dear Rice Girls, I met your parents when Bart was a new, young lawyer at Luther Anderson. Bart and John hit it off and had similar personalities...serious when they needed to be but always up for a fun time, a joke and a good laugh. Through the years, your parents were our sweet friends and dedicated teachers. Two very fine people that we loved and respected! I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you all. May their spirit of caring, kindness and goodness leave a legacy of love for your precious family! With my deepest sympathy, Jan

Sally and Bill Lockett

November 13, 2020

I came to know John when we were in the same law school class. A few years later he was largely responsible for my moving to Chattanooga and joining Luther- Anderson law firm. Then he introduced Sally and I. I can not say enough about his friendship, wit, tenacity, creativity, and loyalty. He and Mary were always a joy to be around. John's love of the Vols was only surpassed by his love for the Herd and most importantly his devotion to Mary and the girls. You will be greatly missed our friend.


November 13, 2020

I played Neil Diamond all day when I learned of your passing. I still have the Jonathan Livingston Seagull album and paperback book you bought for me after we saw the movie together. I am happy that you are now with Aunt Mary. Rest in peace my sweet Uncle John


Learn more about the Rice name