Ruth Ann Rice, 76, passed away Oct. 19, 2020, at Boone Hospital Center. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. In keeping with the guidelines put forth by the Boone County heath director, all guests are required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, cough into your sleeve and wash and sanitize your hands often.

Ruth was born here in Columbia on Feb. 14, 1944, the daughter of James William Palmer and Nellie Irene Calvert. She graduated from Hickman High School in 1963.

Ruth began working at an early age. When she was young she worked at Texico Town, Dog N’ Suds, Playboy Drive Inn, Interstate Pancake Howse, Hilton II and Campus Inn. She finished her career as head chef at MU Health Care.

She enjoyed scrapbooking, reading and researching family ancestry. For a time she delivered papers for the Columbia Daily Tribune and she enjoyed meeting and making friends with the people on her route. When Pam was young, she was the Girl Scout Leader for many years and was also a member of the Dietary Managers Association.

Ruth is survived by her children, Pam (Andy) Acton and James T. Pearl III; one sister, Karen Rayhart; and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Sharon Palmer (Kay Baby); and three brothers, Ronald Palmer, Larry Palmer and Jerry Palmer.

Online condolences may be made at the Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery website.

  • Molly Hart is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. She has previously reported on state government. She can be reached at

  • Mark Horvit is the state government editor. Call me at 817-726-1621 with story ideas, tips or complaints.

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