April 20, 1926 – November 4, 2017
Eva M. Rice, age 91, of South Bend, IN and Destin, FL passed away peacefully on Saturday evening at Center for Hospice Care, South Bend, IN with family members present. She was born April 20, 1926 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to the late Milford Youngs and Esther Youngs. Eva was one of four siblings including her much loved surviving sisters Gladys Petersen and Theresa Buchanan and her late brother Vernon Youngs. Eva married Raymond E. Pitts (deceased) as a returning soldier from WWII. The marriage produced a daughter, Rae E. Pitts (Brahlek) and son, Rick E. Pitts, both surviving, and grandchildren Caroline Pitts, Mei Pitts, Allison Pitts (Laakso) and Laura Brahlek. Existing family also includes daughter-in-law Kathryn D. Pitts who sat with Eva many hours during need and numerous loved nephews, nieces, great-grandchildren and in-laws, most in Council Bluffs, IA and Omaha NE; others in South Bend, IN and eastern states. Eva Mae re-married in the early 1950’s to Rollo G. Rice, a veteran WWII Army paratrooper who passed away in the late 1990’s.
In business, Eva was respected as a skilled and talented draftswoman (both mechanical and architectural) holding positions not often associated with women during her day. During the War she worked at Glenn L. Martin Bomber Plant, Omaha Nebraska, which produced the Enola Gay aircraft, at the drafting board when precise accurate drawings were essential to production. After the war, Eva worked for Colpaert Homes, South Bend, IN assisting in design and drafting plans for housing much in demand during post-war America. She later worked at Bendix Corp, Aerospace Division, South Bend, IN (as did her husband Rollo) providing mechanical drafting. Eva’s final career path was her own institutional design business (Eva Rice Designs) subcontracting to provide layout plans for architects in the construction of hospitals, labs, schools, etc.
During retirement, Eva spent most of the winter season in Florida where she enjoyed golfing, swimming and dancing on a regular basis and returned to South Bend in the spring/summer to play golf and water-color painting with her close friends and family in the area. She will be missed. Her passing was swift and peaceful. There will be no viewing or formal funeral proceedings. To celebrate her life, a contribution to Hospice would be thoughtful.
To send condolences to the family, please visit: www.McGannHay.com