Connie Amway Rice
April 16, 1965 – March 10, 2018
The light that burns twice as bright, only burns half as long (after Lao Tsu).
Connie’s light shined very bright.
Connie Rice – mother, grandmother, friend, wife and soulmate, passed away early in the morning on March 10, 2018 at John Sealy Hospital Trauma Center in Galveston from injuries suffered in a tragic, unexpected, and senseless automobile accident initiated by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 45 (Broadway) in Galveston. She and three friends were on the way home from the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo after an enjoyable evening. Her husband, Tom, went to the ER where she lay, visited her and, with tears in his eyes, kissed her gently on her forehead and told her goodbye – for now. Her children came shortly after and said their goodbyes, as well. Connie had a smile on her face even though she had passed on.
Connie is preceded in death by her parents, Eric and Paula Amway. She is survived by her husband, Thomas G. Rice (TomCat); daughter, Erica Peralez and fiancé, Jay Puccetti; son, Alonso Peralez and fiancé, Alexis Spoon; grandchildren, Aidenn Calvin and Adelynn Renae Peralez; her sister, Cindy Timms and children, Cassidy and Trevor; uncle, Mark Schrader; mother-in-law, Catharine C. Townsend and husband, Tommy Townsend (deceased); father-in-law, John E. Rice and wife, Glenda, as well as extended family all across the country from Alaska to North Carolina.
Connie was born in Coatsville, Pennsylvania and grew up there. She moved to Galveston with her family when she was 10 years old, attended grade school and Ball High School in Galveston. She worked at Sea Arama Marine Park and other odd jobs in Galveston. Her passion was caring for children. Connie loved children, and they loved her. Her career in daycare began when her daughter, Erica, cried about going to daycare, so Connie went to work at the daycare where her daughter was. Her career culminated in her being director of Child Works Day Care, for the last several years, in Santa Fe, Texas, where she worked closely with her boss and owner of the daycare, Kevin Andoe. Connie and Kevin had a unique and special relationship to the point that, from the way they talked to each other, many children there and their parents thought they were married – much to Connie’s husband’s amusement. Kevin did many wonderful things for Connie’s children and grandchildren. Kevin misses her deeply, as does everyone whose lives she touched. He told Connie’s husband, “If there’s a heaven, you can bet she’s in it.” Kevin is a special person.
Connie was short in stature; her husband would often tell her that the children loved her so much because she was the same height as they are.
Connie possessed an infinite amount of love and gave it freely, touching hundreds, if not thousands, of children’s and parents’ lives as well as the lives of her friends and family. It is neither an understatement nor an exaggeration to say Connie could remember every child, their siblings, and family members’ names that she met throughout her daycare career. Connie believed the best gift you could give yourself is to give to others, which she did. She helped kids at the day care and their families with monetary help, clothes or food. She helped friends and family by being someone they could tell their problems to.
Connie also knew how to have fun, be it friends at the house, a party or a special occasion. She talked faster than lightning which caused her husband to become very adept at translating when someone would ask, “What did she just say?” God bless her, she could not dance but that never deterred her, whether with friends, family or kids at the day care.
Connie and her husband met during their high school years, falling in love when their eyes first met – he was her first love and she, his. They went separate ways after a couple of years. Connie married and had two children. She kept tabs on Tom, unknown to him, throughout her marriage. When her marriage dissolved, Tom and Connie got back together and, for the next 17 years, Connie and Tom did their best to make each other happy – and they did. Prior to Connie’s first marriage, she gave Tom a wedding invitation. Tom did not attend the wedding. When they reunited, she asked Tom if he knew why she gave him that invitation. Tom said “no.” She replied, “Because I wanted you to come to the wedding, stop the wedding and take me with you.”
Connie loved butterflies. On the day of her passing, Tom found a quiet moment in their backyard that afternoon. They hadn’t seen a butterfly in the yard so far this Spring. Suddenly a large swallowtail showed up and flitted around Tom for about five minutes and then went on its way: Connie had wasted no time in sending her love.
Connie had a sense of humor; her wishes were that she should be cremated. “Make sure I’m extra crisp,” she said one night while talking with friends about their wishes. Nor did she want a formal funeral. Instead, as she wished, a Celebration of Connie’s Life, and of their life together, will be held April 14, 2018 at 2:00 PM at the old Guldman Residence at 1715 35th Street in Galveston – where Tom and Connie wed on October 20, 2007. Some form of pink attire is requested. Come happy!
True love is a special and intangible commodity, Connie and Tom had it and still do.
Rest in peace, my love, till we meet again – Tom.