Jacqueline Rice (Salisbury), age 84, slipped peacefully from this earth and into the Lord’s merciful embrace while at home on October 11th, 2023, thanks in part to the efforts of Regency Hospice. She was born on August 28th, 1939 in Hunter, Kentucky to Jake Salisbury and Susie (Martin). When Susie unexpectedly died in July 1944 at the age of 45, the youngest of her six children, Jackie (then 4-1/2) along with two of her sisters Gerlie Bea (Conn) and Norma (Lede), aged 6 and 8 respectively, were lovingly taken in and raised by their maternal grandparents Silas Rasser and Ida Martin (Ackers). At age 16, Jackie entered Caney Junior College (now Alice Lloyd College) in Kentucky at the behest of her grandparents who passed within four weeks of one another in the Fall of 1955. On September 12th,1958, Jackie married Howard B. Rice (originally from Ivel, Kentucky) in a small private ceremony in West Palm, Florida and the young pair enthusiastically embarked upon what would then become Howard’s 28-year long USAF military career. As they traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe, Jackie was able to see firsthand the places around the globe she had only read about growing up in school. As a result, Jackie developed a deep love for history, art and geology. The couple finally settled in Albany, Georgia in 1985 immediately following Howard’s military retirement at Moody AFB in Valdosta.
In addition to being a loving wife and devoted partner to her husband Howard (whom she was married to for just shy of 64 years at the time of his passing in 2021), as well as that of the maternal bedrock to her two children, Jackie’s life was a colorful tapestry of personal accomplishments sewn together by the individual threads made from her self determination, persistence and unwavering sacrifice. Had someone ever asked her what her most notable achievement in life was, beyond the pride she felt in being a wife and mother, her response would be: “finally obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in May 1982 from Black Hills State University in South Dakota despite: simultaneously enduring the every four-year, like clock work, pack-it-up and move demands of military family life; always working full time in management level positions within various industries (Campbell’s, Samsonite, SAFT), building and maintaining a small real estate portfolio and juggling the needs of hearth and home.”
To those who knew and loved her, Jackie was a multifaceted gem of God’s own unique creation: possessing a strong, dynamic, innately driven personality with an ever curious mind which was complimented by a constant twinkle in her eye and impish smile on her face that bespoke the kindness and humor within which magnetically drew people towards her. She never felt she had met a stranger and there was never an obstacle or challenge she could not meet head on—she will be greatly missed for all those reasons and so much, much more.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard, newborn son (Greg, 1960) and her siblings (Ida, Oma, Rasser, Irma and Bea). She is survived by her big sister whom she adored Norma Lede of Florence, Arizona, her son Gary Rice and his wife Penny of Pelham, Georgia and daughter Patricia Rice of Albany, Georgia. Jacqueline Rice will be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia alongside her husband Ret. SMSgt Howard B. Rice—together forevermore at last.