Mary Naomi Rice

mary rice

April 5, 1945 ~ November 14, 2021

Born in: Buncombe Co., NC
Resided in: Candler, NC

Mary Naomi Rice, 76, formerly of Candler, passed away Sunday, November 14, 2021, at her daughter’s home in Leicester.

Mrs. Rice was born April 5, 1945, in Buncombe County to the late Rev. Henry J. and Leota Holland Rice. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerald Rathbone and siblings, Reuben and Bobby Rice, Essie Brown, Lucy Bleak, Ellen Austin, Avery Rice, Rhea Jackson, Timothy Rice and Joyce Ann Rathbone and by an infant daughter.
While in Leicester, she attended Chestnut Grove Baptist Church.

She is survived by her daughters, Becky Surrett (Steve), Angie Surrett (Mike) and Cathy Rathbone; son, Dale Rathbone (Angie); ten grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; sisters, Esther Johnson and Ruth Sprouse and brothers, Robert, J.W., Larry and Jerry Rice.

Funeral services will be at 2:00p.m. Wednesday at Bethesda Baptist Church with Pastors Chad Edwards, Mark Bullman and Kenneth Pack officiating. Burial will follow at Rathbone Hill Cemetery.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to her nephew Scott Gosnell’s fundraiser for his double-lung transplant via PayPal: @Tfisher10 or call Tiffany Fisher 828-808-3703.


Visitation: November 17, 2021 1:00 pm

Bethesda Baptist Church
590 Pisgah Highway
Candler, NC 28715

Funeral Service: November 17, 2021 2:00 pm

Bethesda Baptist Church
590 Pisgah Highway
Candler, NC 28715

Burial: November 17, 2021 3:00 pm

Rathbone Hill Cemetery
Steep Hill Drive
Candler, NC

Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

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


View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Larry Jerry and family. Cannot believe you have lost two sisters in less. Than two weeks. My ❀️ goes out to all of you. May God just give you strength to go through this terrible time

    • Barbara we have lost 3 sisters since Denise, my daughter, passed away. It was Ellen Austin, Joyce Ann Rathbone and Mary Rice. It has been so hard on me and the family. All of them were great Christian ✝️ women. I will meet them all when I get home! πŸ₯°

  2. Thinking about the family during your hardest times. I’m so very sorry. Mary was always so kind and loving. A beautiful woman inside and out. She will be missed by many. Much love to you all.

  3. Mary’s friendship to us has been a blessing. She will be missed. Praying for your family for healing.

  4. Angie & family. So sorry for the loss of ur mother, Joyce Ann, & Ellen also. Its not easy loosing mother. Things r never the same.Pray GOD will comfort each of u in these sad days ahead.πŸŒΉπŸ™β€οΈ

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle