SYCAMORE – DeKalb County officials recognized a sheriff's deputy who recently died suddenly, shortly after her shift last week, during the virtual County Board meeting on Wednesday.
DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said Dep. Margaret Rice, 36, of Waterman finished her last 12 hour shift at 7 p.m. Saturday, ending her final watch as a 911 dispatcher for the county. He said she returned home to her husband Nathan and her 9 year old son Elijah and she tucked her son into bed and cuddled him.
“Shortly thereafter, she passed away due to medical related issues," Scott said. "Her death was totally unexpected and a shock and loss to all.”
According to Rice's obituary, a private family funeral mass was held at St. James Catholic Church in Lee and a private burial followed at North Clinton Cemetery. Scott confirmed the services were held on Wednesday and Rice received full sheriff’s honors.
Scott said on behalf of the sheriff's office that they wanted to extend condolences and support to Rice's family and friends and the sheriff's office will be retiring her badge number, 104, in honor of her service. He said she will be remembered for her kindness, compassion, courage and quiet strength.
“Those who worked with her daily cherish her loyal and wonderful friendship,” Scott said.
Scott said Rice was a dedicated sheriff’s deputy in the communications division from 2009 to 2020. He said she spent part of her last hours of life protecting and service citizens, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency personnel throughout the county.
Rice was a graduate of Indian Creek High School, according to her obituary. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and wrote for the student newspaper "Western Star." She wrote for the Daily Southtown in the Chicago area after graduation and then for the Catholic Order of Foresters out of Naperville before becoming a DeKalb County sheriff's deputy.
Scott said the Bible says that those in law enforcement are ministers of God for good.
“Margaret’s service and her life reflected those words every single day," Scott said. "She is missed.”