MayBelle Rice-Sargeant


August 6, 1914 ~ May 24, 2010

Medford, Oregon ~ Former College Place resident, MayBelle Rice-Sargeant, 95, died May 24, 2010, at Farmington Square Senior Care Community in Medford, Oregon.

Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Thursday, June 10, 2010, at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, Washington. The funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 11, 2010, in the Chapel of the Village Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12th and Larch Streets, College Place. Burial will follow in Mount Hope Cemetery. Chaplain Walt Meske will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Walla Walla Valley Academy Student Financial Aid Fund through the funeral home.

MayBelle was born August 6, 1914, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to William Walter and Anna (Harris) Tanner. She attended elementary school in Coeur d'Alene, graduated from Walla Walla Valley Academy and attended Walla Walla College for three years.

On September 17, 1936, she and James Douglas "Rusty" Cornell were married. He passed away December 23, 1968. On January 1, 1972, she and Victor J. Rice were married. He passed away May 5, 1986. On March 14, 1995, she and Dr. Donald John Sargeant married. He also preceded her in death March 26, 2006.

She worked for eight years at the American Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and for the Director of Nurses at Hinsdale Sanitarium and Hospital, Hinsdale, Illinois. She was also Executive Secretary at the Pacific Press in Mountain View, California and to the President of Portland Adventist Hospital, Portland, Oregon. She was also Director of Volunteers at Portland Adventist Hospital as well as Walla Walla General Hospital.

Her hobbies included entertaining friends and families several times per week with meals, game nights, and parties. She also enjoyed extensive travel to such places as Great Brittan, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Panama, Germany, Italy, Hawaii, Canada, Argentina, Africa, Ethiopia and the Caribbean Islands. Reading great books and memorizing poems was a favorite pastime. She read the Bible through several times, leaving it well read with a multitude of underlined passages.

She became a Seventh-day Adventist Church member in her early teenage years and was a long time member of the College Place Village Seventh-day Adventist Church.

MayBelle is survived by her three step-daughters: Bonnie (Sargeant) Colson, Elaine (Rice) Brasuell and spouse Charles Brasuell, and Cathy (Rice) Bechtel and spouse Donald Bechtel; two step-sons: Jeff Sargeant and spouse Vicky and Steven Sargeant and spouse Shirley; one step-daughter-in-law, Peg Rice; thirteen step-grandchildren, fourteen step-great-grandchildren, cherished extended family and beloved friends.

In addition to her three husbands, she was also preceded in death by two brothers, Oliver Wilburt "Bert" Tanner and Theodore "Red" Tanner; one sister, Gertrude Elizabeth "June" Armstrong, and her step-son, David Rice.

Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at


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