Joseph Mannfred Rice of St. James, Missouri was born April 28, 1948 in Ogallala, Nebraska to Frederick and Ruth Margaret (Peterson) Rice and passed away Saturday, December 12, 2020 at the age of 72 years.
On December 24, 1982 he married Anna (Eads) Rice in Rolla, Missouri.
Joe served his country for eight years in the U.S. Army. He did two tours in Vietnam. He was a gourmet cook for the top brass while in the service. Joe also loved nature and animals.
He loved working with his hands, whether it be building engines or motors to building furniture. Joe built his home in 1986 where he resided until his death. No one needed to hire a mechanic if Joe was available.
Joe worked on some of the major meat processing plants in the U.S. when he was younger. At some point, he began driving big rigs over the road for different trucking companies.
He drove for J.B. Hunt Transportation for 16 years and received many awards including the Million Mile Award, Driver of the Year, Professional Truck Driver and Carnegie Hero fund for saving the life of a driver from within a burning tanker truck filled with hydrofluoric acid. He also helped a couple escape from their overturned motor home.
In December of 2011 Joe was badly injured while making a delivery in North Carolina rendering him disabled.
Joe was of Protestant denomination. He could answer about any question one would have about the Bible. He always said that he and God have an arrangement.
He is survived by his wife, Anna Rice of St. James, Missouri; one son, Louis William Watkins of Edgar Springs, Missouri; daughter, Sally Ann Watkins of St. James, Missouri; two sisters, Karen Zuege of Council Grove, Kansas and Linda Burke of Laredo, Texas; one grandson, Colton Watkins; other relatives and friends.
Visitation was held from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2020 at the Null and Son Funeral Home in Rolla, Missouri.
Funeral service was held at 1 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2020 at the Null and Son Funeral Home in Rolla, Missouri.
Interment followed in the Pea Ridge Cemetery in Doolittle, Missouri.
Arrangements under the direction of the Null and Son Funeral Home in Rolla, Missouri.