Jean Rice Swirczynski, 96 years old, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Saturday, January 27 at Central Wyoming Hospice.
She was born January 12, 1922 in Oklahoma City, OK to James C. and Mary Frances Tillery. She attended Oklahoma University for 2 years. It was there where she met and married Bud Rice, a young law student. They made their home in Tulsa, OK where they raised their family until Bud’s death in September of 1971. During her early life in Tulsa, Jean was very active in Southminister Presbyterian Church and worked for the Tulsa Metro Ministry.
In 1972, she reunited with her longtime friend, Dick Swirczynski. They had both lost their spouses within a month of each other. It seemed a natural progression that they be married. Jean left the city life of Tulsa and moved to wonderful Wyoming where she became an enthusiastic Casperite. She was active in the First Presbyterian Church. She was a member of Casper’s Geo Wives, PEO, and she volunteered to drive for Meals on Wheels for decades.
Jean and Dick remodeled an old dairy barn into a big house on the Platte River. They enjoyed entertaining church groups and good friends with river floats and BBQ’s. She remained at the river house even after Dick’s death in April of 2000.
Jean was known for her charismatic and exuberant personality. She was easily recognized by her warm smiles, hats, and crazy socks. One could say that she sparkled her way through life. She will be missed for her love of life, intelligence, generosity and kindness.
She is survived by one son, James David Rice (Betty) of Hudson, OH, one daughter, Jean Anne Schommer (Leonard) of Norman, OK, A step-son, Paul Swirczynski (Donna) of Boise, ID, two step-daughters, Bonnie White (Dan) of Casper, WY, Leslie Evans of Boise, ID, and 11 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren with 1 on the way.
She is preceded in death by one sister, Mary Margaret Read and one nephew, James “Jaimey” Read.
Memorial Services will be held in June. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Grace Reformed Church, 804 South Wolcott Street, Casper, Wyoming, 82601 or the Central Wyoming Hospice, 319 Wilson, Casper, Wyoming, 82601.