OBITUARY: Walter ‘Sonny Ray’ Rice


Mr. Walter “Sonny Ray” Rice, age 86, resident of Columbia, passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2022 at Magnolia Healthcare.

Sonny Ray was born December 26, 1935 and was the son of the late Arthur Rice and the late Lucy Elizabeth Green Rice.

He graduated from Santa Fe High School and was of the Church of Christ faith. He was employed at Dynamic Security and worked many years in security at Dupont Sponge Plant in Columbia.

He was the owner of several clubs and his band name was Sonny and Jonie and The Highway Country Band. Sonny Ray was a very talented guitar player and singer. He even appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with Eddy Arnold. He also enjoyed hunting.

He is survived by his loving wife, Jonie Howell Rice of Columbia; stepdaughters, Jeannie Black and Jennifer (Doug) Dickins, both of Columbia; and nieces, Teresa Mitchell (James) Black of Santa Fe, Lisa (David) Rice Lovett of Columbia, and Joan (Chris) Rice Rochester of Columbia.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, David Rice.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, November 6th at 2:00 PM in the chapel of Heritage Funeral Home with Keith Baker and Rick Points officiating. Burial will follow in Charles L. Nickell Memorial Park Cemetery, located on Hwy 100 in Centerville. The family will visit with friends on Sunday, November 6th from 12:00PM until the 2:00 PM service hour.

Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.

The family would like to express a special thanks to all the staff at Magnolia Healthcare and Hospice Compassus.

Heritage Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.


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