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Artie Lee Rich, 94, formerly of Cisco, passed away Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Big Spring, Texas.
Artie, born Dec. 15, 1917, in Twitty, Texas, was the sixth of 12 children born to Charlie Nelson Wills and Nola Bell (Davis) Wills. She grew up and graduated from high school in Frederick, Okla.
Artie married Zola Edward Rich on Dec. 15, 1941, in Eastland, Texas. Zola immediately left to serve the Army during World War II and Artie lived with his parents until his return in 1943. During the almost 70 years they were married they lived in Odessa, Whiteface, Rankin, Colorado City, Coahoma and Cisco, Texas. In 1953, they adopted Artie's brother's son, Robert, when he was 5 years old and he became the joy of their lives.
They gave of their time and funds to help build several churches. Artie Continually baked bread, pies, cakes, or anything else the church needed for fund-raisers or fellowships. Her baking and cooking abilities were known everywhere she lived. Christmas dinners were a feast. She freely gave her time to clean a friend's house if they were sick, or fix meals when needed.
Artie planted gardens everywhere she lived and loved to plant, pick and can her variety of vegetables and fruits. She gave much of it to family, friends and neighbors. When they moved to Coahoma, Artie worked for F.W. Woolworth Five and Dime store in Big Spring. After they retired, they moved to Cisco. She taught herself to play the organ when she was about 63 and played for the First Assembly of God church in Cisco, where they were members. Until her eyes were too weak from glaucoma, Artie sewed, crocheted, quilted and painted. We are blessed to have her recipes, beautiful quilts and pictures.
She is survived by one son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Sharon Rich; grandsons, Troy Rich and wife Sharon of Midland, TExas, and Kevin Rich and finance Pamela Lawallen of Austin, Texas; great-grandsons, Matthew Rich and Brian Rich of Midland and Nathan Rich of Lubbock, and Amber Rich of Lubbock; one sister, Thelma Marie Francois of California; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Artie was preceded in death by her parents, Charlie N. Wills and Nola Bell Davis Wills; husband, Zola E. Rich; seven brothers; three sisters; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends and family Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Summers-Chambers Funeral Home in Cisco, Texas. Graveside services will be at Romney Cemetery at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. The Rev. Jeremy Howard, friend and former pastor of First Assembly of God church, will officiate.