We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Centralia Location
Gary L. Rice, 56, of Central City, IL, passed to his Heavenly home on Sunday August 7th 2022. He passed peacefully in his sleep, after battling with aggressive cancer, in his home with his loving wife Sandy by his side.
Gary L. Rice was born May 9th, 1966 as son to James and Karen Rice, at Clay County Hospital in Flora, IL. He was born
as the younger brother to Larry and Jim Rice, and was joined a year later by baby sister Becky.
Gary and his siblings grew up in Illinois and attended Salem Community High School, where he played football for the
Salem Wildcats. He had a lifelong love of music, reading (especially Tom Clancy and English history) and of animals.
He became a fantastic musician and eventual music minister. All along the way he mentored and inspired many young
people throughout his lifetime, whether in music lessons, or leading them closer to the Lord as a youth and children’s
leader. Music was therapeutic for him and he chose that gift to share, as he was an overcomer and achieved using that
testimony to lead others to connect and bring closer to the Lord throughout his life. He and his wife Sandy, loved being
servants in the Centralia area for over 30 years and were surrounded by close friends of multiple generations at Eternity
Gary was a hard worker from a young age, sometimes having more than one job at a time. He worked many years for
Walmart, which is where he was working when he met the love of his life Sandra (Sandy) Williamson. They married at
Eternity Baptist Church of Centralia September 6th of 1986. They built a life together based on their commitment to each
other and the Lord, and created a safe and loving home for all that knew them. Sandy and her mother “Mackie” loved
him deeply, and encouraged him in his talent and his collecting of stringed instruments. He worked for Innertech/Grupo
Industries for over 30 years until his failing health. He also enjoyed Football and Cardinals Baseball, and connecting
through baseball or music with his nieces and nephews. He was a great example for them, and encouraging to the 5 of
He was preceded in death by his mother Karen Rice of Salem and his mother-in-law Martha “Mackie” Williamson.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Sandra Rice, and their sweet pets they rescued; brother Larry Rice of Indianapolis,
IN, brother Jim and wife (Vera) Rice of Richlands, North Carolina, sister Becky and husband (David) Wilmoth of Salem,
IL. Father James Rice of Salem, and his wife, Cheryl, Aunt Judy and Uncle (Gene) Wyman of Carter, IL. Nephew Nick
Rosch of Texas, Niece Amber Elledge of Illinois, Angie Wilmoth of Alaska, Niece Sarah Zoeckler of North Carolina,
Josh Wilmoth of Illinois; with six great-nephews and three great nieces, and very dear friends Brian and Sunny Lowe of
In his final days he spent time with his wife by his side, close relatives and friends singing, encouraging, praying and
imploring everyone to reach out and touch the Lord while there is time.
II Corinthians 5:17
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Eternity Baptist Church, 500 W McCord Street in Centralia on August 28,
2022 at 2 pm. Pastor Karl Barnfield will bring the message at the service. The Sounds of Eternity Worship Team will lead
the music service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are asked to be given to “Love Packages.” Love Packages is a ministry
that sends used Sunday School literature and Bibles all over the world to share the good news of Jesus. They have a
Facebook page where more can be learned about this ministry. Online condolences and memories of Gary may be shared with the family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page. Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia is privileged to be assisting the family of Gary Rice with arrangements.