Wardell “Bae” Rice Sr.
On September 1, 1936, the late Gertrude and Webster Rice welcomed their tenth and last child, Wardell Rice, into the world. Born in the rural area of Labelle, Texas, Wardell’s life as a son, husband, father, and grandfather spanned eighty plus three years. Early in his life, Wardell’s family moved to Beaumont, where he lived the remainder of his days. In 1955, Wardell met the love of his life, Eva Mae Volrie, and they were married on Saturday, June 30, 1956. Wardell and Eva lived in holy matrimony for 64 glorious years, where seven children; Patricia Dukes, Ethel King (Larry), Martha Jones (Larry), Lois Holloway (Steve), Wardell Rice Jr, Lester Rice, Quintin Rice (Chalan) were of their union. Wardell worked for several businesses in Beaumont, but being self-employed brought him the most joy. It wasn’t uncommon for Wardell to work countless hours at “the shop,” and later in life, a community staple “Eva’s Place.” Wardell had an incredible work ethic, starting early and finishing late while refusing to accept mediocrity. In the face of challenges, you would hear him say, “My daddy killed can’t, and I ran the hell out of I don’t know!” Even with his limited formal education, Wardell was a self-taught skilled craftsman. He earned a reputation among his family and friends as the go-to person for any project. Beginning in the 1970s, while working nights for Bethlehem Steel Co., Wardell built a significant portion of the home where the family still resides to this day by himself. Much later in life, Wardell was the principle builder of Eva’s Place, a restaurant that he operated with his wife Eva. Of all of his accomplishments, nothing was more important to him than his family. He was known to use the phrase, ‘it’s a family affair.” Which meant we are all part of something greater than ourselves. Wardell was a compassionate person, quick to express emotions physically and verbally. He was a wise man, with an infectious sense of humor, dispensing wisdom with a joke. Wardell was devoted to his eight grandchildren: Gabriella King, Terrence Holloway, Brittany Jones Lopes (Curtis), Steven Holloway, Elan Rice, Ariella Rice, Duwayne Dukes, and Liam Rice. Wardell Rice Sr. was proceeded but has now been reunited in everlasting life with his parents, sisters; Oritta Vaughs, Lillie Winters, Lucille Frank, Ruby Guidry, and Dorothy Davis; Brothers: Russell Rice, and Webster Rice Jr. A profoundly religious man, Wardell had an everlasting devotion to his lord and savior. Committed to the church, he was a member of the board of deacons at Pleasant Green Baptist Church for many years. Wardell touched the lives of many people, none more than his beloved wife, Eva Mae, and his seven children and eight grandchildren, who will all cherish his memory forever.