Ella Jane Bagwell Rice

ella rice

October 20, 1929 ~ September 14, 2021

Born in: Asheville, NC
Resided in: Leicester, NC

Ella Jane Bagwell Rice, 91, passed away on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

An Asheville native, Ella Jane was a daughter of the late Frank Bagwell and Bessie Wyatt Bagwell. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Marel “Red” Rice; daughters, Marlene Jones and Sandra Gail Rice; grandson, Frank Stallings; sisters, Ann Alley and Betty Morris; and brothers, William F. and Jack W. Bagwell.

Mrs. Rice is survived by her daughters, Shirley Godleski (Ted) and Betty Gunter (Larry); son, Marty Rice (Sandra); six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral service for Mrs. Rice will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday at Zion Hill Baptist Church, where Mrs. Rice had been a longtime member. Pastor Bobby Smith will officiate. Her family will receive friends for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Burial will take place the following morning, Monday, September 20, at 10:00 a.m. at Ashelawn Gardens of Memory.

Her family would like to express their appreciation to the staff of CarePartners Solace Center, particularly Karen, Pam, Amanda and Ellen, for the care and compassion shown to Mrs. Rice.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Leicester Fire Department, P.O. Box 100, Leicester, NC 28748, or to Zion Hill Baptist Church, 1008 Newfound Rd., Leicester, NC 28748.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


Visitation: September 19, 2021 2:00 pm - June 21, 2024 3:00 pm

Zion Hill Baptist Church
1008 Newfound Road


Funeral Service: September 19, 2021 3:00 pm

Zion Hill Baptist Church
1008 Newfound Road


Burial: September 20, 2021 10:00 am

Ashelawn Gardens of Memory
901 Aiken Road
Asheville, NC 28804

(828) 645-6915

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Memories Timeline


  1. I have thought about all of you very often and how very special your family has always been to us. Ella Jane was so very special and a beautiful lady inside and out. I know you will miss her a lot, but I know her, Red and my parents are in a lot better place and out of pain. Marty you will always be my little brother, you have always been there for me and our family. Love you all!

  2. I am so sorry for your families loss. It is so hard when we loose a loved one. Your families are in my prayers. Let me know if you need anything. Love you.❤🙏

  3. Shirley,Marty and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. Love and prayers, Gary and Vanetta Cooper

  4. Shirley and family,
    I am so sorry for your lose. Prayers for all for peace and comfort in having your mom with you for so long. Memories are so very precious as are my memories of you in the OR at Mission back in the good times there.

  5. So sorry to hear of Mrs. Rice’s passing. Such a sweet lady with the prettiest smile. A good neighbor and friend to my mom and dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  6. Shirley, Marty, Betty and family, We have many precious memories how our family has been entwined with your family through the years. Ella Jane was a special, precious, devoted mother and friend. I always admired your mother’s caring and selfless nature and her sweet contagious smile. God bless you and your family and watch over you during this most difficult time.

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