Edward Smith’s concert in memory of Dr. Roberta Rice
HSC’s organist and music minister, Edward Smith, recently dedicated his summer concert to the memory of his mentor and friend, Dr. Roberta Rice, who died earlier this year. When he first met her, after her retirement to Asheville, Dr. Rice was organist for Haywood Street Congregation.Edward, formerly homeless, recalled how much he loved and respected her. She was special to him in so many ways; she took him under her wing when he volunteered to play at HSC during her illness. Though marvelously talented, he had not had much formal musical training. Dr. Rice insisted that he “get it right” and helped him develop both musically and in his faith.
Now Edward is also choir director at St. Mathias Episcopal Church in Asheville. He brought the spirited St. Mathias choir to participate in the memorial concert at HSC.
Dr. Rice did her surgical training under Dr. Charles W. Mayo at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She served as a United Methodist medical missionary educator in Seoul, Korea, from 1956 to 1975, as professor of surgery at Yonsei University and Ewha University Colleges of Medicine. Before leaving Korea, Dr. Rice was awarded the Grand Order of Mungunghwa, the highest decoration awarded by the government of the Republic of Korea. She later joined the faculty of the medical college at Marshall University in Huntington, W. VA, and did surgery with the Veterans Administration until her retirement in 1986.
For more about Dr. Rice, follow these links:
http://www.missionfoundation.org/content/dr-roberta-rice-md-facs and http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/postbulletin/obituary.aspx?pid=171265569.