Sylvia Ann (Siemers) Rice

Sylvia Ann (Siemers) Rice was born June 9, 1960 to Vinton and Ila (Markley) Siemers in Russell, Kansas. She danced her way into heaven on April 15, 2024, leaving behind her husband of 40 years Richard Rice of Salina, her children; Charity (Kevin) Dalzell of Suttons Bay, MI, Jennifer (Drea) Hayeslip of St. Charles, MO, and Corey (Kat) Scheck of Salina, KS. Her grandchildren; Kaycie Rice, Hunter Burns, Lyndsey Dalzell, Allison, Maggie, and Evelyn Scheck, and she was anxiously awaiting the birth of her first great grand child in November of 2024. Sylvia was also survived by her siblings; Linda Olson, Kurt (Kitza) Siemers, and Sharla (Mike) Cook. Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Ron Siemers and her grandson Justin Dalzell.

Sylvia grew up in Russell, KS and graduated from Russell High School in 1978 where she served on student council, the dance team, and cheerleading squad, preparing for her future career as Chief Cheerleader for all things Salina, Kansas. In 1982, she and her son Corey moved to Salina, where she met Richard and they married October 7, 1983, completing her family with the addition of her two daughters.

Sylvia dedicated more than forty years to the tourism and hospitality industry in Salina. She began her career at the Ramada Inn where she collected life long friends and stories along the way up the managerial chain. In 1991 she found her work home at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce where she came to direct the staff of Visit Salina. Sylvia served on a myriad of Kansas tourism boards and committees including, TIAK-Travel Association of Kansas, the 1-70 Association, and Meet Kansas, and was considered the “Matriarch of Kansas Tourism”. Sylvia was a founding member of Sculpture Tour Salina and worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality. She loved her city, and it is a better, more colorful place because of her.

Sylvia was no stranger to struggle. She battled cancer, and many other related health issues for more than 10 years, and she did it all with unparalleled grace and a wry smile for all who came into her orbit. She didn’t let her own issues get in the way of her true passion, caring for people. All who knew her felt the glow of her love and compassion. Her family, especially her children and grandchildren were the center of her life. She loved them deeply and she will live on in their hearts.

The family would like to especially thank the Genitiva Hospice staff, Yvonne, Heidi, and Tara for their kindness, compassion, laughter and care in the last days of Sylvia’s life. They also cannot put into words how much the outpouring of love from Sylvia’s friends, co-workers, and church family has meant to them. Cards, visits, hugs, and meals have been plentiful and deeply felt.

The Celebration of Life service will be at Church of the Cross, UMC, 1600 Rush St. Salina, KS. on Saturday April 20, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive visitors Friday, April 19th from 5-7 p.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in Sylvia’s honor to Sculpture Tour Salina, in care of the Salina Chamber of Commerce 120 W. Ash.

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