The story of June Baxter Rice begins in Morgantown, KY, on August 13, 1925. From the very start, she has had an untamable passion for literature. Her parents, Ervin and Lura Baxter, along with her two brothers, always encouraged her to reach for the stars. And she did. June began reading before she had even started school, and it’s been her favorite pastime ever since. She graduated at the top of her class in Morgantown High School in 1943.
When the Second World War broke out, the county found themselves in desperate need for teachers in one-room schools. June had the opportunity to teach on an emergency certificate for a whole term – without having spent a single day in college.
“Had I known what I know now, I would’ve been scared,” June said. “But with the ignorance of youth, I managed to have all of my students learn to read, write, spell, do math, and learn geography and history – and nobody killed me or each other!”
June would eventually go on to attend Western Kentucky State Teachers College (now WKU), where she majored in English and minored in History and Library Science. She was a columnist for The College Heights Herald and an assistant editor of the 1949 yearbook, The Talisman. She was also an officer in the Baptist Student Union, a religious organization sponsored by her church.
June spent one year as an English teacher/librarian in a small school in Waterman, IL. She also sponsored the student-run high school paper.
After a year in Illinois, June married a returned soldier, Harold M. Rice, and moved to Paintsville, KY, where she lived for 60 years. After her two daughters were born, she became a librarian at Paintsville High School. She would stay in that position for 34 years.
June retired in 1989, not long after she had started writing a weekly column for The Paintsville Herald called "Education and Common Sense”. Despite her retirement, June would continue writing this column for almost thirty years. It’s even published in her hometown paper, The Butler County Paper, along with several other local weeklies that are owned by Jobe Publishing Company in South Central KY. Additionally, June has kept busy by writing a cookbook, Common Sense Cooking (for the Cook on the Run), a short story, Mother's Inasmuch Christmas, and self-publishing collections of her columns.
While this is already an inspiring legacy, June is also the proud mother of three beautiful children: Cathy, Stephen, and Patricia, all of whom are teachers. She also has six grandchildren, two-step grandchildren, and seven great-grandchldren.
June has lived in Louisville since 2010, and has been active in local, associational, and State Baptist organizations. She also teaches a Sunday School class for seniors at West Broadway Baptist Church.
As one of the very first residents to move in to the The Springs of Stony Brook, June is loved by many in the Trilogy family. She reads poetry to other residents every Tuesday afternoon from 2:15-3:00, and continues to write a weekly column.
Printed with permission - copyright June Rice.