Helen Steiner Rice (May 19, 1900 – April 23, 1981) was an American writer of religious and inspirational poetry.
Helen Steiner was born in Lorain, Ohio on May 19, 1900. Her father, a railroad worker, died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. She began work for a public utility and progressed to the position of advertising manager, which was rare for a woman at that time. She also became the Ohio State Chairman of the Women’s Public Information Committee of the Electric Light Association, and campaigned for women’s rights and improved working conditions.
In 1929 she married Franklin Dryden Rice, a bank vice-president in Dayton, Ohio. After the stock market crash in October that year, Franklin lost his job and his investments. He fell into a depression from which he never recovered, and committed suicide in 1932.
Rice became a successful businesswoman and lecturer, but found her most satisfying outlet in writing verse for the prominent greeting card company American Greetings. Her poems received wide exposure in the 1960s when several were read by Aladdin on the poetry segment of the Lawrence Welk television show.
The demand for her poems became so great that her books are still selling steadily after many printings, and she has been acclaimed as “America’s beloved inspirational poet laureate”. Helen Steiner Rice’s books of inspirational poetry have now sold nearly seven million copies. Her strong religious faith and the ability she had to express deep emotion gave her poems timeless appeal.
She died on the evening of April 23, 1981, a month before her 81st birthday, and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio.
Sunday past in the UK was Father’s day, Here is one of Helen’s poem’s
Fathers are wonderful people
Too little understood,
And we do not sing their praises
As often as we should…
For, somehow, Father seems to be
The man who pays the bills,
While Mother binds up little hurts
And nurses all our ills…
And Father struggles daily
To live up to ‘his image’
As protector and provider
And ‘hero of the scrimmage’…
And perhaps that is the reason
We sometimes get the notion,
That Fathers are not subject
To the thing we call emotion,
But if you look inside Dad’s heart,
Where no one else can see
You’ll find he’s sentimental
And as ‘soft’ as he can be…
But he’s so busy every day
In the grueling race of life,
He leaves the sentimental stuff
To his partner and his wife…
But Fathers are just wonderful
In a million different ways,
And they merit loving compliments
And accolades of praise,
For the only reason Dad aspires
To fortune and success
Is to make the family proud of him
And to bring them happiness…
And like Our Heavenly Father,
He’s a guardian and a guide,
Someone that we can count on
To be always on our side.