Elizabeth "Betty Jane" Rice, a former model and longtime volunteer, died of pancreatic cancer March 19 at the Edenwald retirement community in Towson. She was 85.
Elizabeth Shipley was born in Franklin, N.Y., and moved to Catonsville with her family. After graduating from Western High School in 1941, she went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore.
Even though she was urged to pursue a fashion modeling career in New York City, Mrs. Rice remained in Baltimore, where she worked during the 1940s and 1950s as a model for Hutzler's department store.
"Her sense of fashion never left her, and her abilities as an accomplished seamstress and natural grace ensured that she was always elegantly attired and poised," said a longtime family friend, F. Carvel Payne, former director of the Department of Legislative Reference in Annapolis.
Mrs. Rice, a longtime Lutherville resident who moved to Edenwald six years ago, had been a member of the women's board of the Salvation Army for many years and of Goodwill Industries. She had also been active in the Cub Scouts.
"At Gilman School, she had served on a million committees, including the annual Gilman Circus," said a son, David Jeffrey Rice of Guilford.
Mrs. Rice was a member of the Eastern Shore Society and the Shipleys of Maryland.
She was also a landscape painter who worked in oils and had studied with Baltimore portraitist Joe Sheppard.
Mrs. Rice was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Also surviving is another son, Bruce S. Rice of Timonium; and five grandchildren. Her marriage to Romney "Bud" Rice, a retired Chesapeake Bay pilot, ended in divorce.