May 12, 1940 - February 15, 2008

Kathy Rice - 1957 ~ Kathy Rice - 1958

Kathy Rice Veverka - recent

Kathy passed away on February 25, 2008. After an extended battle with cancer, she left peacefully with her loving husband at her side in their Richland home.

Kathy was born in Yakima on May 12, 1940 to Lawrence "Larry" and Lola Frizzell Rice, their first born.

Her family moved to Richland when she was young. She had many happy memories of her childhood on Mahan Street. She graduated from Columbia High School in 1958 (Go Bombers!).

After her marriage to Chuck Veverka ('54), they bought a house on Boulder Street, which continues to be the family home. While raising their three daughters, hardly a day has gone by for the past 47 years in which the house has not been "busy" with children.

Kathy was co-founder of The Women's Place, a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. She found it rewarding to assist families as they reconstructed their lives. When the organization became state sanctioned, she moved on to become an employee of J.A. Jones Co. She enjoyed working outside the home and made many close friends on the job. She became the staff association president for J.A. Jones, which gave her the opportunity to help organize company charity functions and employee activities. She always included her family in helping and enjoying these functions. Eventually she became a Purchasing Agent, a job which gave her great satisfaction.

She decided to retire in 1995, when her husband came home and told her Battelle had offered an enhanced retirement package. She couldn't let him retire without her! This gave them the opportunity to travel/cruise as a couple and with friends to Las Vegas, Alaska, Hawaii, Tennessee, and the Mediterranean. She loved Hawaii, and they returned many times. She also enjoyed family vacations, usually to the Oregon Coast.

Above all, Kathy enjoyed time spent with family and friends. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and sister. Each holiday or birthday gave us a chance to gather together to play games and have a feast.

Kathy is survived by husband, Charles "Chuck" Veverka, daughter Christine ('78) "Christy" (Glenn) Wegner of Pasco and their children, Justin and Kalie; daughter Kimberly ('81) "Kim" (Jed) Berna of Kennewick and their children, Kathleen "Kasey" and Courtney; daughter Angela (Tom) Kenner of Medford, OR and their children, Robert, Madelyne, and Elijah. She is also survived by her brother Lawrence "Mike" ('60) (Donna Bowers ('63) Rice of Chesterfield, MO and family; her sister Patricia ('63) "Pat" (Mike) Lamb of Vallejo, CA and family; sister-in-law Irene Schjelderup of Arvada, CO and her family, and the family of her late brother-in-law, Lyle Dyken of Richland. In addition, she is survived by many friends that were like family to her.

She was preceded in death by her parents; Lawrence and Lola Rice, father and mother-in-law; Charles and Twila Veverka.

Kathy's family would like to thank each of you for being part of her life. She loved you. A special thanks to the staff at the Cancer Center you made her feel special each time she walked through your door. Thank you also to Hospice for helping us to keep and care for her at home.

Grandma you were a great grandma. Thanks for spoiling us! We'll miss you.

Mom - thank you for teaching us to stand up for ourselves, to care about others, and to find reasons to celebrate life. You will be in our hearts as we look forward to a family reunion.

Kathy the house is empty, but I see your shadow. We have our memories. Rest in peace.

At her request, no funeral will be held. Please join us in celebration of her life on Sunday, March 2 at 1:00 p.m. This celebration will be held at the Elks Lodge in Kennewick, 15 South Colorado Street (735-6035). Dress casual; bring a smile and your memories.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to one of the following in Kathy's memory: Tri-City Elks Lodge, Hospice or the Tri-City Cancer Center.

Click to view/sign the guest book for Kathy