Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Joan Rice obituary in the BJ

Joan A. Rice

Joan A. Rice loved to read. She spent every childhood summer devouring as many books as she could. Classics like “Little Women” and “Jane Eyre.” It was only natural then that she was drawn to the field of journalism. The written word. The excitement of a newspaper newsroom. She left us on November 18, 2016 to join the staff of the great newspaper in the sky. God is her editor now.

Joan was a reporter and editor at the Akron Beacon Journal for over 35 years. She loved “The Beacon.” She had immense respect for her boss Pulitzer prizewinning Executive Editor and Publisher Ben Maidenberg. She said the tireless taskmaster, who loathed inaccuracy, modeled the professional code of ethics taught to her by her journalism professors at Kent State University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine and Professional Arts degree.

Joan was just a junior at Kent State when the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier hired her. It wasn’t long before Betty Jaycox, the long-time lifestyle editor at the Beacon Journal, noticed her work and her career took off. Joan had many “beats” in the ensuing years: fashion, teens, religion and consumer. She then moved into the job of Assistant Features Editor.

As a forever-young rock ‘n roll fan of Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, she particularly enjoyed an interview with Dick Clark. She said he was surprisingly open with details about the “Bandstand Regulars,” the popular teenage dancers on Clark’s “American Bandstand.” And she delighted in saying she went to Woodstock 25 years later in 1994 for an historic update story.

Joan was preceded in death just 12 days ago by her loving husband of 36 years Lawrence J. Momchilov. Joan met Larry on a news assignment for a story on the martial art of Jiu-Jitsu training. A devout Catholic, Joan and Larry were long-time members of the Kent State Parish Newman Center.

Joan is survived by her identical twin, Marie Rice; sister, Nancy (Bill) Crouch; stepdaughters, Diane (Dennis) Bueker, Christine (Richard) Klempay, Susan (John) Yonkin; and stepson, Lawrence “Butch” Momchilov, Jr. She is also survived by nephews, Chad Crouch and Delvin Pickett; niece, Sierra Rice; and great-nephews, Bryce and Zachary Pickett; and great-niece, Alliya Pickett.

She was also preceded in death by her parents, Nancy B. and John B. Rice and brother, John B. Rice, Jr.

Closest to Joan’s heart was her love of the family homestead. When you grow up on a farm, a love of the land becomes part of your soul. It was the place where Mom taught us to be grateful, joyful, spiritual and productive. As a child, Joan loved to read books perched way up high in the lofty branches of the front yard’s prized cherry tree. We know Joan has found a cherry tree in the Lord’s garden, where she is at peace with loved ones until we can all be together again.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the Kent State University Parish Newman Center, Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, 1424 Horning Rd., Kent, OH 44240 with Rev. Steve Agostino officiating. Calling hours will take place one hour earlier at 10 a.m. at the Parish Newman Center. Graveside services will be held at Homeland Cemetery in Rootstown. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Parish Newman Center building fund.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at . 330296-6436 (Wood-Kortright-Borkoski, 330-296-6436)

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