Lillian Margaret Delperdang Rice died Jan. 9 in Portland. There was a funeral Mass at St. Stephen Church on Jan. 13.
Mrs. Rice was born Oct. 1, 1918, to Leo and Agnes Delperdang. She grew up with nine brothers and sisters in the town of Bancroft, Iowa.
She came to Portland in1942 to work in the shipyards. She stayed on in Portland and, as an accomplished seamstress, opened a shop called The Children’s Shop and Gifts, located at 34th and Hawthorne.
She met Mike Rice, who lived in the same apartment building, and the two married in February 1947. In 1950, they bought their house on Grant Street. While raising her four children, Mrs. Rice used her sewing skills to doing alterations and repairs for friends. She made most of her own clothes as well as clothes for the rest of the family. When several of her children were working for Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, she contacted the owner and purposed a new uniform design for the girls. They accepted it and the family basement turned into a clothing factory.
Another one of Mrs. Rice’s greatest joys was her church, St. Stephen. She spent hours volunteering there, arranging flowers for the altar, creating dozens of banners, teaching religious education and sewing for the women religious there and at Our Lady of Peace Retreat House.
Once she had grandchildren, someone was always over at Grandma’s, making crafts, baking cookies or spending the night. Her great-grandchildren were also a great source of joy for her. She could hardly wait to hold the newest member of the family.
Many of Mrs. Rice’s longtime friends are from her years as a member of St. Stephen.
She was predeceased by her husband in 1991. She is survived by her siblings, Charles of Colorado, Arthur of South Carolina and Mary of Michigan; her four children Matt of Portland, Mitch of Milwaukie, Paula of Oregon City and Chuck of Gresham, and their spouses; 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.