Cora “Corky” Ellen Rice, Wellsville, Kansas, passed away Thursday, July 13, 2017.
Funeral services are planned for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 20, 2017, at Wilson’s Funeral Home, 607 Main St., Wellsville. Graveside services immediately follow at Wellsville Cemetery. A viewing is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Wilsons’ Funeral Home, Wellsville.
Born on July 18, 1941, to Clifford and Anna Rice, Wellsville, Kansas, Corky grew up in Wellsville, with and older Brother Jerry V. Rice (deceased) and Clifford J. Rice.
A Child Singer Star in the Midwest, she sang with such local favorites as Hoby Shepp and the Cowtown Wranglers, and toured endlessly during her childhood years. She made a movie called “Corns-a-Poppin” written by the now-famous director Robert Altman. This film stared Jerry Wallace and Hoby Shepp and the Cowtown Wranglers and Little Cora Rice. It has recently been honored as an early and treasured work of Robert Altman’s by the Chicago Institute of Film, which came to interview Cora recently about the film.
She married Richard Lee Turner in 1959 and had four children; Randy (deceased), Tammy, Doug and Shelly. They relocated, along with Cora’s family, to Southern California where she pursued her singing career, and raised four children who inherited her vocal gifts. There, her family lived a full life filled with singing, horses, dogs, business ownership, wild horse chasing, camping, boating and lots of family and friends.
Relocating back to Wellsville, Kansas, in the late 1980’s, she returned to the family homestead property, eventually moving into town where she lived the last 16 years of her life.
In 2012, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, and has been growing in grace since then.
She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015. A lifelong smoker, it finally took her life.
This woman lived a life that will continue to live out lovingly in the memory of those who knew her. In the end, that is a wonderful and weighty thing to be able to say about a person. We will miss you Mommy!
Corky is survived in death by her children, Tonya Turner, wife of Randy Turner (deceased); Tammy (Turner) Gimbel and her husband, Tracy Gimbel; Douglas Turner and his wife, Reney Turner; Shelly (Turner) Jensen and her husband, Barry Jensen; grandchildren, Brandon Nason, Justin Turner, Tracy Roehl, Stacy McClendon, Jessica Bradley, Courtney Hurst, Aubriana Jones, Paxton Gimbel and Ashely Mijangos; great grandchildren, Xavier Turner, Troy Hook, Bailey Roehl, Andy McClendon, Charley Roehl, Anthony Mijangos, Kingston Bradley, Sophia Mijangos, Liam Bradley, Mac McClendon and Haven Hurst; on the way baby girl Bradley, great grandson Ian Mijangos and third baby boy McClendon; and sibling Clifford J. Rice.