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Richard Rice

Richard Lee Rice

November 22nd, 1930 - April 22nd, 2023

Richard's Obituary

Richard Lee Rice, 92, of Decatur, MI passed away into God’s graces on Saturday April 22nd, 2023 in Kalamazoo, MI. Richard was born on November 22nd 1930 in Dugger, IN to the late Herbert and Mary (Hayes) Rice. Dick was in the Mishawaka High School graduating class of 1948 and then went on to serve his country in the Korean War. On May 18th, 1957, he married Evelyn Plummer; she preceded him in death on June 14th, 2022.

Richard was in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955 as an Airman 1st Class and an aircraft mechanic. Upon returning from the Korean War, he worked at Bendix in South Bend, IN. Dick had a desire to raise his growing family in the country. In 1963 he purchased a 60 acre farm and moved his family to Decatur, MI. In the mid 60s until his retirement in 1984 Richard worked at Western Michigan University as Manager of Computer Programming. During this time period he also farmed the family farm. He and his wife later owned and operated Gambles Hardware Store in Decatur for several years. After selling the hardware store, he worked at Special-Lite Door Company for a handful of years until retiring again. Not wanting to sit still, Dick continued to paint houses into his 80’s in the warmer months, while enjoying his winters snow birding in Lillian, Alabama.

Dick was a proud member of the VFW post 6248 and of the Decatur/Dowagiac Masonic Lodge. He also was Sexton of Lakeside Cemetery in Decatur for several years.

Richard is survived by his six children – Terri (Henry) Karasch of Lawton, Sharon (Jeff) Vliek of Paw Paw, Patti Rice of Kalamazoo, Richard (Julia) Rice of Schoolcraft, Robert (Riva) Rice of South Lyon, and Thomas (Melanie) Rice of Hanover, twenty grandchildren and twenty-six great grandchildren, sister Betty (David) Dinius of Bourban, IN and brother Morris (Sue) Rice of Frederick, VA. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Evelyn, and two grandsons – Nathan and Nole Vliek.

A Celebration of Life Service will take place on Saturday May 13th, 1:00pm at the Grace Apostolic Lighthouse Church in Decatur, with Pastor Jack Midkiff officiating. Visitation with family and friends precedes the service from 12:00-1:00pm at the church. A burial with Military honors will follow at Lakeside cemetery in Decatur.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be directed to the Grace Apostolic Lighthouse Church or the VFW Post 6248 of Decatur in memory of Richard Rice. Friends and family wishing to leave a message of condolence may do so at www.newellchapel.com.

Service Details

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