Bobby Jake “Fonzie” Rice

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Bobby Jake “Fonzie” Rice, 83, of Manila, died Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro. Born Dec. 17, 1939, to the late Joe and Lucille Hutton Rice, he had lived most of his life in Manila, had attended Manila High School and was of the Baptist faith. He worked as a dragline operator for the S.J. Cohen Company for many years traveling throughout the country. At one point they had a long-term contract in Elaine, and he loaded up his family and moved them for the duration of the job. He truly loved his work and often discovered wildlife and various critters while digging and would bring the animals home for his girls to raise or to take to their science classes. Always busy, he loved working on boat motors and lawnmowers, and tinkering in general, rarely charging for his work. Fonzie was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed being outdoors. He was saved at an early age and later in life rededicated his life to the Lord. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons-in-law that he loved dearly, Kenny Gentry and Alan Parker.

Survivors include four daughters, Stephanie Gentry of Gosnell, Tonya Parker of Manila, Holly Yarbro (Bill) of Horseshoe Lake and Symantha Fleeman (Fred) of Manila; five grandchildren, Cody Gentry, Clayton Gentry, Vince Parker (Natalie), Jason Yarbro, Renee Yarbro Veach (Brandon). He also leaves five great-grandchildren, Beckham Gentry, Anelle Parker, Tyler Yarbro, Caleb Suiter and Riley Parker

Memorial service will be 3 p.m. Friday, March 3, at the Howard Funeral Service Chapel in Manila with Rev. Ray Dill officiating. The family will receive visitors from 2 p.m. until service time at the funeral home. Friends may sign the online guest register at