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1931 Joanne 2023

Joanne Rice

October 31, 1931 — July 17, 2023

Joanne Rice, age 91, of Broken Bow, NE, educator, horsewoman, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother died on Monday, July17, 2023. She was born on October 31, 1931, in Delta, Colorado to Lee Allen and Ethel Lenore (Wigram) Smock.  She graduated from Delta High School in 1949 and attended Colorado State University (CSU).  While at CSU, she was a member of the Delta, Delta, Delta sorority.  She was also a “College Days” rodeo queen and rode in a mounted group that did square dancing via horseback and performed at the Denver Stock Show.  She was a member of CSU’s a cappella choir and went on two tours.  

On September 10, 1952, she married Duane N. Rice who was in the CSU school of veterinary medicine.  She worked in the CSU alumni office while Duane completed his degree in veterinary medicine.  She fondly referred to this as “putting husband through college”.  Upon completion of his degree in veterinary medicine in 1954, the couple moved to Broken Bow, Nebraska where he practiced vet medicine at Grassland Hospital, and they started a family. 

While in Broken Bow, Joanne was a dedicated member of St. John’s Episcopal Church where she sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, became an Altar Guild Directress and was President of Church Women United.  She was also a dedicated member of P.E.O., a 4-H Leader for 10 years and a member of the Nebraska Veterinary Association Auxiliary where she served as Secretary-Treasurer.  She was a treasured member of the community, tirelessly staying actively involved in many civic and social events, while keeping ahead of her kids’ busy schedules and helping to keep the veterinary clinic operating smoothly.  

In 1979, Joanne and Duane moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where they both worked at the University of Nebraska, Duane, as an extension veterinarian and Joanne as a clerical assistant.  While in Lincoln, Joanne continued her dedication to philanthropic service with the DM Chapter of P.E.O. and with the University Women’s Club.  

In 2002 Duane and Joanne returned to their familiar home in Broken Bow where they re-engaged in the community, with old friends and continued to pursue their personal interests. Joanne’s lifelong love of horses continued up until just before her death where she could gaze out into the pasture by her home and see her beloved horses.  Joanne was an avid fan of all University of Nebraska sports, especially football and volleyball.  She loved her ‘Huskers’ and attended almost all of Nebraska’s home football games over a 60- year period. She also loved bowling and participating in a weekly bridge club for decades with her beloved friends.  

Joanne is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Drs. Sandra & Dale Hansen, Lincoln; daughter, Joelene Aschenbrenner, Seward; sons and daughter-in-laws, Ken Rice and Dr. Sarah Goodpastor, Durango, Colo.; Dr. Russ & Lisa Rice, Broken Bow; and ex-daughter-in-law, Dr. Teresa Duryea, Bellaire, Texas; 19 grandchildren and grandchildren in-law, Dr. Jennifer (Hansen) Flum and Dr. Drew Flum, Ashley (Hansen) Green and Peter Green, Dr. Sarah (Hansen) Haag and Dr. Aaron Haag; Adam Aschenbrenner; Nicole (Rice) Garmezy and Adam Garmezy, Kirsten Rice and Anthony Green, Alex Rice, Erin Rice, Benjamin Rice and Elenore Rice; Chelsea Rice, Travis Rice, Emmalea Rice and fiancé, Sean McMullen; 7 great grandchildren, Benjamin, Tommy, Owen and Emmett Flum; Theo and Clark Green; and Bodie Haag; Sister in-law Harriet Smock.  Joanne was preceded in death by husband, Duane Rice; parents, Lee and Ethel Smock; sister, Jean Parish, brother in-law Mel Parish; and brother Lionel (Bud) Smock. 

Memorial Services 10:30 am September 15, 2023 (9/15/23) at Govier Brothers Mortuary, Broken Bow, with Father Randy Goeke officiating. Interment at Broken Bow Cemetery to follow.  Visitation will be held Thursday, September 14, 2023 (9/14/23) from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Govier Bros. Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:

Dr. Duane Rice Memorial and Joanne Rice Scholarship Fund                                                                                                                                                      

 Custer County Foundation

403 South 9th

PO Box 304

Broken Bow, NE 68822              



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