Joseph “Tsawgih’gwas” Rice Obituary

December 14, 2023 –

Joseph “Tsagih’gwas” Zowi Rice
September 30, 1980 – December 12, 2023

Joe “Tsagih’gwas” Rice, 43 years old, passed away peacefully December 12th, 2023, after a nearly 2-year illness. He was born in Woodruff, WI, at Howard Young Medical Center on September 30, 1980, to Sherwin (Tonja) Rice and Lea (Mark) Warrington.

Joe was a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Kansas and was a talented artist making beautiful beadwork, fans, bracelets, and necklaces. He was a welder by trade and worked for 13 years on oil rigs in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota. For the last several years he worked as a driller for a company who contracted with the rural internet initiative, until his illness stopped him from work in 2021. Joe was a member of the Native American Church and was a kind and generous man helping and supporting others. He enjoyed fishing, spending time in the woods and with his family, his dogs and helping family with maple sugar camp, wild ricing, feasts, and gatherings.

Joe is survived by his wife, Martina Thomas, and children Rashaun (Alaska), Roman and Joe, at home. He is further survived by his mother and father, sister Lily (Nasiqua) Rice, her daughter Colleen (fiancé Christoper Soriano), sister Kaluyatatsyes and sons Liam and Emerson, and brother Wahake, all of Green Bay, mother and father-in-law John and Faye Thomas, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, sister and brother-in-law Red Day and Jeremy Johnson, and their children Marion and Jennings of Norman, Oklahoma.

He is further survived by Uncles Arnie (Lori) and Bill Rice, Burton (Sandy), Bruce (Janeen) and Winslow Warrington, aunts Luanne (Don), Dawn (Greg) and Becky (Jonesy) Miller. He has numerous cousins who called him brother or uncle, and elders who called him nephew and grandson. He also is survived by lifelong friends Ernie Stevens and Damon Skenandore. He leaves behind his dogs Kutty and Sadie.

Joe was preceded in death by his grandparents Lillian and Kendall Rice and Burton and Colleen Warrington, his uncle Richard Rice, Aunt Mimi Rice, Uncle Richard Lawe, and Uncle Royal Warrington.

Wayne “Tab” Jessepe of Kansas conducted Native American Church Services which began Saturday, December 16th, at sundown, with funeral Services on Sunday December 17th at the Lac du Flambeau Multipurpose Center and burial at the family cemetery at Partridge Lake.

Thank you to those who supported Joe throughout his life, the people of the Hayward and Wittenberg Native American Church communities, and his relatives in Kansas. Charlie and Donnie Carufel and Joe Graveen, Mike Murray, and Michelle Haskins. If we have forgotten anyone, know that we felt your prayers and good thoughts for healing. Ryan Funeral Home of De Pere and Bolger Funeral Home of Woodruff assisted the family with arrangements.

All is forgiven as my spirit returns to where I came from, at rest with my relatives who have passed on, until we meet again.

(Courtesy of Bolger Funeral Home)