Donald Laverne RICE

July 14, 1928April 24, 2021

Donald passed away at his home on April 24, 2021, with his family by his side. He was born July 14, 1928, to James Luther Rice and Ollie Bell Hightower in Liberal, Kansas. The family lived in Oklahoma before moving to a farm in the Lycan community, south of Holly, Colorado in January 1931. He attended Pleasant Valley School through 8th grade. He became a farmer and later part-owner of Holly Trucking Company.

Donald entered the US Army October 1950 and served in the 40th Infantry Division in California, Japan and Korea. He separated from the US Army October 1952. He was a life-time member of the local VFW 4281 in Holly, Colorado. Donald married Sybol Brannon on April 4, 1953 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They lived in Holly, Denver, Colorado, and Tucson, Arizona before returning to Holly, Colorado upon his retirement. He loved fishing, camping and hunting, was an avid bowler and a devoted Denver Bronco fan, win or lose. Later in life he began losing his eye sight due to macular degeneration. He could no longer drive to his favorite fishing hole, but this did not stop him from playing cards twice a week at the local senior citizen’s center or continuing his twice daily walks around the neighborhood, no matter the weather.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers Melvin (Pauline) Rice and Earl (Lois) Rice; sisters Louise (Curtis) DuVall and Joyce (Roy) Sturdy; sister-in-law Naomi Rice and brother-in-law Maynard Brannon.

Donald is survived by his wife of 68 years, Sybol of Holly; brother, J.D. Rice of Holly; many nieces and nephews and a host of friends. He was a loving husband, brother, uncle and friend to many. He and his wife had no children but his nieces and nephews were loved and enjoyed as his own.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Lamar Area Hospice. Graveside services for Donald will be held Thursday, May 6, at 12:00 pm at Fort Lyon National Cemetery, Fort Lyon, Colorado.


  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, May 6, 2021


Donald Laverne RICE

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Cindy Cartwright/Bell

May 4, 2021

My memory of Donald began when my parents moved to Colorado, I was eleven years old. Donald taught me how to water ski from the "home made" motor boat he was so proud of. Fishing, camping trips, Central City Opera House, Lakeside crazy eight stock car races, his love for old country music that he would sing along with, summer bowling leagues with Donald, Sybol, myself and my folks Bob and Fran, home remodels..the list goes on..Most importantly Donald and Sybol were always there when you needed them the most. Love you Donald , thanks for the memories.

Darlene Bruce

April 29, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss; I know Donald will be missed. I'll always remember him for his daily walks around town, as I would see him from my office window in the bank.


April 29, 2021

We will miss Uncle Donald, but he's forever in our hearts.