Garrett Bud Rice “The Idaho Cowboy”, age 81, of Marion, North Carolina gave up his mortal body of pain and suffering to take on his new perfect body in his new home of everlasting peace and happiness with Jesus our Savior, at St. Joseph Campus of Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC following an extended illness with family at his side. He was an honorable veteran of the US Armed Forces, Navy Department.
He was a man of great talent. He was a featured artist over the years at Old Fort Mountain Music in Old Fort, NC, Young’s Mountain Music in Spruce Pine, NC and The Orchard at Altapass in Altapass, NC (where he was one of the founders of the music program). He performed with his cousins, Terry McKinney, David Jack McKinney and the late Arzella Harklerode McKinney. He played many places across the US. He would bring tears to many eyes and laughter to many more. He was loved and will truly be missed by all who knew him.
Bud loved his rodeo circuit days where he worked the West as a professional cowboy. He competed in bronco and bull riding and won several places in his category. His hobby was a small ranch in Idaho where he trained show horses.
Bud was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. By his own testimony he had repented and made it right with Jesus. He believed in Jesus and was baptized and was ready to begin his life in Heaven.
Bud was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Bailey Rice; his adopted father, John Rice, who was a great man of God; his step-father, Grady Smith; his biological father, Rev. Roy Branch; his half-brothers, Leonard Smith Rice of Idaho and Willie Smith of Spruce Pine, NC, Arvin and Marvin (twin brothers), Hubert and Therlan Branch all of Marion, NC; His only half-sister, Christine Smith Davis of Idaho Falls, Idaho, who was his music partner for many years and her husband, Johnny Davis; and his second wife, Vada Rice of Kentucky.
Left behind to cherish Bud’s memory are his loving and devoted wife of many years, Vinna Noblitt Rice, whom he loved dearly; his first wife, Ethel “Tiny” Calvinder Rice and their five daughters, Twins Barbara and Debbie, Lorie, Christie and one son Garrett Bud, Jr. all of Idaho; his third wife, Jackie Rice of Idaho; two sons by his second wife; and other children outside of marriage, three daughters and two twin sons.
Also surviving Bud are his half-brothers, Archie Rice and wife, Sue of Idaho Falls, Idaho and David Rice and wife of Nevada (who also was a music partner) Dean and Van Branch of Marion, NC; his sister-in-law, Barbara Noblitt Webb of Marion, NC; special first cousins, Janice Lowery King and husband, Jack, Sadie McKinney Andrews and family (whom Bud referred to as his guardian angel), Terry McKinney and wife, Ruth, David Jack McKinney, Jeff Birk (who has really been there for Bud) both of Marion, NC and Lena Smith Love of Spruce Pine, NC.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Beam Funeral Service & Crematory are assisting the Rice family with arrangements. The family will receive friends from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Beam Funeral Service. A celebration of Bud’s life will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, May 20, 2018 in the chapel of Beam Funeral Service. Interment will follow the service at McKinney Gap Cemetery in Spruce Pine, NC with military honors and dedication of the grave.
Family will be gathered at the home of Sadie Andrews at all other times.