Founder of Rice Potato Chip Co. dead at 92

Myrtle Rice, who founded a local potato chip company from the back porch of her rental home during the Great Depression, died Sunday at her Hattiesburg home. She was 92.

Services are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Temple Baptist Church East Chapel with burial in Highland Cemetery.

Rice made the chips for her family and founded the privately held Rice Potato Company in 1939.

By 1941, Rice and her husband, Kenneth, who left the oil industry to run the family business, had expanded the business to include its own building and five delivery trucks.

Rice's daughter, Pat Braswell, said her mother grew up learning how to make potato chips and pies from Braswell's grandmother.

Braswell says her mother knew early on that she wanted to start her own business.

Braswell said potato chips were a novelty back then.

Survivors include two daughters, a son, seven grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.