Mother and father of six Rexburg children die of cancer within nine months of each other - East Idaho News

Mother and father of six Rexburg children die of cancer within nine months of each other

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Watch our Secret Santa surprise with Andrea Tice from December 2022 in the video player above. | Photo courtesy Sarah Woodbury

REXBURG — Six siblings are preparing for the funeral of their mother, who died nine months after their father passed away.

Andrea Tice, 45, died Wednesday following a five year battle with colon cancer. Her ex-husband, Nathaniel Tice, also had colon cancer when he died Dec. 18 at the age of 47. The couple leave behind six children between the ages of 7-21.


Andrea, who went by Annie, taught chemistry at Brigham Young University-Idaho, enjoyed social dancing and played the cello in symphonies and orchestras. She and her children sold homemade fruit leather to earn extra money.

The team surprised her with a car and gift cards from an anonymous Secret Santa in December, the day after Nathaniel passed away. She had just returned home from a chemotherapy appointment.

“Shortly after Christmas, Annie found Hope4Cancer in Mexico where she went for treatment,” Sarah Woodbury, Tice’s sister, tells “Her cancer indicators showed some improvement and she was hoping her body would go into remission.”

Despite some temporary improvements, Tice’s health deteriorated. In July, her family held a reunion and Woodbury felt it was the last time they would all be together.

Last month, doctors told Tice nothing more could be done and encouraged her to get her affairs in order.

“She was told to focus on quality of life. She called the (Latter-day Saint) mission home in Colorado, where her oldest was serving his mission, and together they decided to bring him home two months early,” Woodbury says. “She told me that she wanted my husband and I to care for her four younger kids, as was the original plan, but she didn’t want them to have to move.”

Andrea Tice was surprised with gift cards and a car from an anonymous Secret Santa in December 2022. | Jordan Wood,

Woodbury and her husband have four boys and run a pest control company in Florida. After talking about her sister’s wish, the Woodburys made a big decision.

“We cried our tears and my husband and I decided to move back to Idaho. We are making arrangements to operate (our business) remotely and we arranged for our son in his senior year to be able to finish graduation requirements by December,” Woodbury explains. “My parents will be moving in with the kids until our family can relocate to Idaho and take care of all eight kids under one roof. We are all making sacrifices, but in the end it will all be worth it.”

RELATED | Single mom of 6 fighting cancer gets big surprise from a Secret Santa

When Tice passed away, her son, mother and Woodbury were by her side. Woodbury says her family has seen “so many miracles – big and small” over the past week and are preparing for her sister’s funeral, which will be held Tuesday at the Rexburg 6th Ward, 387 South 4th East.

As Woodbury’s family now plans for a move across the country, and the number of children under her roof is doubling, a Spotfund account has been created to help cover unexpected expenses. Donations can also be sent directly to Woodbury’s Venmo @Sarah-Woodbury-9.

“Annie was such a sweet sister. She will be missed. We love her so much,” Woodbury says.

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