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Owen Stewart Rice
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Birth: Mar. 13, 1912
Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County)
Santa Barbara County
California, USA
Death: Sep. 25, 2010
Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County)
Santa Barbara County
California, USA


Owen was the son of Owen T. and Viola C. Rice. He was a fourth generation resident of Santa Maria.
Owen spent his childhood helping his father on the ranch and playing practical jokes on friends. After graduating from Santa Maria High in 1930, he attended San Diego State University on a football scholarship. He played four years of football and remains in the SDSU hall of fame. Upon returning from San Diego with a degree in economics, Owen worked for the Sea Side Oil Company. He never lost sight of agriculture, however, and was soon able to secure the lease on a small ranch. He negotiated the use of his father's farm equipment, and Owen began farming on his own in 1936. Years later, he and his father merged their operations, creating Owen T. Rice & Son, which has since been renamed OSR Enterprises, Inc. The company has now been farming for 104 years.
Throughout his career, Owen enjoyed supporting the community. A partial list of his achievements include: Chairman of the local land Farm Bureau Center (1940), Elected to the State Farm Bureau Board of Directors representing Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (1942), Served on the War Board handling implement rationing (1942), Elected to the Santa Maria High School and Santa Maria Junior College Board of Directors (1954, Retired as Chairman 1989), Spokesman for the American Sugar Beet Growers at the World Sugar Conference in Geneva, Switzerland (1972, Retired as Chairman 1988), Served as Chairman of the local land bank (Retired 1987), Served as the California Agricultural Leadership Board Vice-President (Retired 1988), Served as a member of the Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation Board (31 years), the 1989 Santa Barbara Country 'Farmer of the Year', a member of the Santa Maria Elks Lodge #1538 for over 65 years, and he was honored as Grand Marshall at the 59th Annual Elks Rodeo.
In addition to farming, he had a passion for aviation. He received his pilot's license in the 1940's, owned several small Cessna's and accumulated over 4,000 hours in the air. One of his favorite destinations was Bass Lake, where he and his wife Betty spent much of their time. Other hobbies included international travel and hunting.
Owen is survived by two children, James Rice and wife Linda of Pismo Beach and Carolyn Ball and husband Stanley of Sonoma, a step-daughter, Meribeth Anderson and husband Jim of Thousand Oaks, eight grandchildren, Michael Ball of Thousand Oaks, Darrell & Leslie Ball of Toronto, Canada, Stacie Rice of Santa Maria, Andrew & Megan Rice of Nipomo, Alison & Charlie Sanchez of Palm Springs, and Amber Whittington of North Carolina, six great-grandchildren, Sadie, Avery, Darby, Carson, Alaina and Carla, two cousins, Patty Boyd and Lyndall Stewart, as well as several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by Betty Rice (December 1st, 2003), his wife of 45 years and William C. Rice (1961), his brother.
Owen lived a long and wonderful life. The family would like to extend a special thanks to his caregivers for their dedication and loyalty to the Rice family. Because of them, Owen died peacefully, in the same residence where he spent his childhood, on the ranch.
 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Betty E Rice (1919 - 2002)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Santa Maria Cemetery
Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County)
Santa Barbara County
California, USA
 
Created by: Inge and Patrick Campbel...
Record added: Sep 28, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59329074
Owen Stewart Rice
Added by: Gordon Smith
 
Owen Stewart Rice
Added by: Gordon Smith
 
Owen Stewart Rice
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Steve Burton
 
 
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