Martha Grace Clark Rice, long-time resident of Chapel Hill, died on April 11 at Duke Hospital after a brief illness. Martha was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 31, 1930 to Cecil Pratt Clark, MD and Isabelle Mary Brodie. She graduated from Shortridge High School, in Indianapolis, IN, and DePauw University, in Greencastle, IN. Martha was married to her childhood sweetheart Reed Porter Rice for 40 years. Reed, who was Martha’s life companion passed away in 1994. Martha is survived by her three children, Robert Clark Rice, Douglas Reed Rice, and Mary Brooks Rice Seagroves, and six grandchildren, Brooks Rice, Andrew Rice, Matthew Rice, Theodore Seagroves IV (Drew), Abigal Seagroves, and Sarah Seagroves. Her brother, George Clark passed away three days after his little sister.
Martha, her children, and her daughter-in-law Karen Clark Rice celebrated her 85th birthday at Caneel Bay, in the Virgin Islands, where she had vacationed several times with Reed. It was an exceptional family-time, where she went snorkeling in the beautiful Caribbean waters almost every day. The day after she returned, she entered Duke Hospital with an infection. While at Duke Hospital she participated in her team’s win for its 5th National Championship. She died that weekend, with her children and daughter-in-law at her side—she had completed her bucket list, and departed on her terms.
Martha was a member, past sorority president, and active participant in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at DePauw University. She maintained close contacts with her Theta sisters for the rest of her life. Reed and Martha were among the founding members of the Chapel Hill Tennis Club. Martha had been a member of the Chapel Hill Service League and the Market Madams investment club. She was an active member in the Gay Rakes Garden Club. Martha was a member of long standing at the University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill. She was an avid reader and Book Club member. She played bridge, enjoyed her bridge clubs and loved her Tea Group. Martha was considered a friend to many and was admired for her warm greetings, humor, and genuine kindness to all.
A celebration of Martha’s life will be held at the University Presbyterian Church, in Chapel Hill, at 2 PM on Saturday May 23 with a gathering afterwards at the Ballroom at The Cedars where Martha lived for the past 10 years.
Never miss a local story.
Memorial gifts can be made to Duke Medicine, in support of The Reed and Martha Rice Distinguished Professorship in Radiology Endowment Fund: Duke Medicine Development, Attn: Erica Kitchen, 710 W. Main Street, Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 or https://www.gifts.duke.edu/daa