Joan "Jody" Rice Heninger


Joan (Jody) Rice Heninger, the only child of William Harvey White and Ocia Belle Cooley, died on November 2, 2019 following a fall and a five-year struggle with Alzheimer’s. She was 87.

Jody was born on August 15, 1932 in Whittier, California. She spent her early years in a small home on the oil fields her father oversaw. With no children nearby, Jody found joy in solitary things.

Jody graduated from high school in 1950 with plans to study fashion design. When she fell in love with Gene Rice, a Navy veteran, Jody decided she needed a more “reliable career”. She changed her major and graduated from Whittier College with a degree in elementary education.

On September 2, 1952, Jody married Harold Eugene Rice. They started their family in 1961, having three children in less than four years. Jody played competitive tennis, and earned a master’s degree in reading from Cal State Fullerton. In 1978, Gene and Jody moved to Provo, Utah. Jody became an active member of the LDS Church in 1981, and served faithfully in each calling she was given.

In 1995, Gene and Jody built their dream home in Midway, a gathering place for their rapidly growing family. Although Gene passed away in April of 2000, the family gatherings continued in her home. Those were magical years.

Jody found joy in solitary things again — reading the best books, solving daily crossword puzzles, and tending the wildflowers that lined her side yard. Jody served meals at the Provo Food Coalition every week for over ten years. She also served a part-time mission, giving tours of the LDS Conference Center downtown. Jody loved both experiences immensely.

Jody married Richard Heninger, a long-time family friend, on June 1, 2013. For six years, they were companions who loved and supported each other through happy times as well as unexpected health challenges.

Jody is survived by her husband, Richard, her children, Michael Rice, Leslie (Lane) Murray, and David (Robin) Rice, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. She will be dearly missed.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 9, 2019 at the Berg Drawing Room Chapel, 185 East Center Street, Provo, Utah. Friends may visit with the family from 1-1:50 p.m. prior to services. Interment will be in Eastlawn Memorial Hills. Condolences may be expressed to the family at