Ray Rice was born July 22, 1943 in Worland, Wyoming, the youngest child of Vernon and Doris Rice. Ray grew up on the family ranch east of Ten Sleep, graduating from Ten Sleep High School in 1961. Growing up on the ranch Ray had an affinity for animals and a real talent for breaking and training horses. His love of animals led him to a bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry, earned from Utah State University in 1966.
While finishing his degree in 1965 he married Valerie Eckhardt. After graduating from Utah State University they returned to the family ranch. He and Val would raise their children, Debbie, Melissa and Casey there and Ray would run the ranch until his death in 1996.
He loved ranching and he was involved in every aspect of it, with his family working right beside him. Some of his children’s fondest memories and funniest stories are of working the ranch beside their father. Ray was honest and hard working with a rich, dry sense of humor. Ray’s hobbies included everything to do with horses, fishing, hunting, gun collecting, snowmobiling, playing poker, listening to Paul Harvey, flying his plane and playing city league basketball.
Ray was extremely active in agricultural activities around Wyoming, serving on the Soil Conservation District board, Southside Paintrock Cattle Association, Big Horn Forest Permittees Association, Washakie County Predator Control Board and the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association and was a stockholder in the Ten Sleep Rodeo Association.
Ray never was involved in rodeo as a contestant but was a well-known pick-up man at the Ten Sleep Rodeo for many years. He was usually easy to spot in the arena in one of his much loved brightly colored shirts. He also was a member of the Worland Elks Lodge, Big Horn Sno-Goers and the Ten Sleep Lions Club.