HARLOWTON - Howard Rice passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 10, 2003, at the Deaconess Billings Clinic. Services to celebrate his life will be in Harlowton at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 13, at the Perkins Funeral Home. Burial will follow services at Harlowton Cemetery.
Howard R. "P-Nutz" Rice was born Sept. 11, 1917, in Cincinnati, Iowa. His parents were William Cleva Rice and Rosa Fidelia Irving Rice. His dad was killed in a coal mining accident at Queens Point in Roundup in 1946. His mother, Delia, later married Eli Popovich and lived in Roundup for many years until her death on Aug. 6, 1983.
P-Nutz came to Montana in 1927 when he was 10 from the family farm in Iowa. He attended school in Roundup from fifth grade through his junior year. On Jan. 29, 1935, he began to work at the mine, and continued until February of 1942. He worked for the Roundup Coal Mining Company in the No. 3 Mine.
On Aug. 10, 1941, he went to work as a brakeman with the Milwaukee Railroad, where he remained a loyal employee for over 30 years. He moved to Harlowton in 1952, where he lived until his death in 2003. While he was employed by the railroad, he also enjoyed farming from 1967 to 1990, south of Shawmut on the Homer Griffith farm.
He married Josephine "Jo" Smith on Dec. 31, 1968. She had three daughters, and throughout their 32-year marriage he played an active role in the lives of the girls and their families. He loved fishing, and had a long and successful hunting career with 27 elk to his credit. He built more than 900 various birdhouses, and gave them to area ranchers and townspeople in hopes of increasing the native bird population in Montana.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Nina Meyers, Leona Burns, and Ima Jean Rice; and is survived by his brother, Gene Rice and sister, Roberta Morse.
His beloved wife, Josephine Rice preceded him in death on Nov. 15, 2001. His surviving family members include Twyla Wise and her husband, Harlan, of Roundup, Wilma Clark and her husband, Gary, of Belgrade, and Glenda Johnson and her husband, David, of Virginia Beach, Va. He has six grandchildren, Bobbye Eike and her husband, Bert, of Big Fork, Michael Clark and his wife, Michele, of Belgrade, David Clark and his wife, Carmen, of Bozeman, Kody Boeger and her husband, Scott, of Craig, Colo., McKenzie Laurence and her husband, Brian, of Jacksonville, N.C., and Matthias Johnson of Annapolis, Md. He also had six great-grandchildren with expected twins on the way.