Honoring long time serving former Canyon Mayor

She shocked the City of Canyon, and herself, after becoming mayor as a write-in candidate 21 years ago. Friday, dozens of people came out to a ceremony dedicating a pavilion named in honor of Lois Rice.

It's an extraordinary story.

"Lois' friends circulated, let's go write Lois in on Election Day and they did and she was elected," said Randy Criswell, Canyon City Manager.

That move in 1990 left the whole city in shock, but no one was more shocked than Lois.

"It was a real shock when I found out and I didn't know until about 7 O'clock that night that I was mayor. It was a real shock and I stood there and shook," said Lois Rice, Former Canyon Mayor from 1990 - 2006.

Rice spent 16 years serving as the Mayor of Canyon.

"I really enjoyed it, I really did and I wanted to do the best for Canyon that I could and I really enjoyed it. I thought well, since I got elected I might as well do a good job , " said Rice.

The list of her accolades include, she served five terms as Chairman of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Inc., a member of "Operation Bootstrap", Chairman of the Panhandle Conference of Mayors, Past President of the Texas Association of Mayors and Commissioners, served two terms as Chamber of Commerce President, named Canyon's Citizen of the Year in 1987, served two years on the Texas Affordable Housing Task Force, TML Regional Officer, TML Regional President, WTAMU Foundation Board Member, Panhandle Community Services Board Member, recipient of Woman of Distinction from Girl Scouts. Rice was also instrumental in building the Cole Community Center and the Canyon Area Library.

"I think I was cut out to be mayor because I really really enjoyed it and I worked at it. We had a lot of good memories and had a lot of things happen that were good for Canyon," said Rice.

It's because of her influence on the city, that commissioners decided to have a pavilion in Conner Park built and named after her, to honor her legacy.

"She represented Canyon in a very admirably and commendably way and she just did so much for Canyon in the years she served as mayor," said Criswell.

Here's another fact about Rice, she isn't even from Canyon. However she is, though, a Panhandle native.