Robert Louis Rice Obituary
Robert Louis Rice, of San Diego, CA and Reno, NV passed away on Dec 14, 2021 at the age of 96 surrounded by his loving family.
He is survived by 1 brother: Dale Rice (Mary), Appleton, WI; 9 children: Mary Farace (Joe), Parker, CO; Theresa Rice, Sparks, NV; Robert “Bob” Rice, Jr. (Barbara), Vero Beach, FL; John Rice, Fort Drum, FL; Kathleen Rice-Dutton (David), Reno, NV; James “Jim” Rice (Lois), Vero Beach, FL; Marjory “Marjie” Rice, Reno, NV; Thomas Rice, Reno, NV, Elizabeth Pawlikowski, Sparks, NV. 16 grandchildren: Shawna Rice, Sparks, NV; Chenoa (Charlie) Cacho, Arlington, TX; Sarah Caliendo, Burlington, VT; Jason Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Amy Rice, Vero Beach, FL; William “Billy” Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Paulina Dutton, Hollywood, CA; Julianna Dutton, Fresno, CA; Joseph Dutton, Fresno, CA; Lucas Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Ryan Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Kathryn Rice, Casa Grande, AZ; Kristina Rice, Reno, NV; Kyle Rice, Reno, NV; Elizabeth Rice, Port St. Lucie, FL; Dustin Pawlikowski, Sparks, NV; Jacelyn Pawlikowski, Reno, NV; 13 great grandchildren: David Rice, San Diego, CA; Christian Rice, Spokane WA; Julius Rice-Misa, Sparks, NV; Justice Rice-Misa, Sparks, NV; Aidan Cacho, Arlington, TX; Shane Cacho, Arlington, TX; Olive Rochin, Casa Grande, AZ; Sophia Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Maria Madonna Rice, Vero Beach, FL; Paislee Rodriquez, Reno, NV; Bra’Laiya Rodriquez, Reno, NV; Fletcher Caliendo, Burlington, VT; Hazel Rice-Nueno, Longview WA; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Madonna Rice, his parents, Clara and Delbert Rice, Lancaster, WI; 1 sister: Marjory “Midge” Curtis ; 3 brothers: Keith Rice; Richard “Dick” Rice; Kenneth Rice; and granddaughter, Brigette Chouest, Hollywood, CA.
Bob was born on Nov 7, 1925 in Platteville, WI, and was the eldest of six children. His spirit of adventure, zest for life and love of aviation was evident since childhood. He graduated from Platteville High School and immediately thereafter joined the Navy where he was an air crewman and veteran of World War II. He went on to earn his BA in philosophy with a minor in mathematics from Loras College, Dubuque IA in 1950. At Loras College he was a founding member of the Hawks Flying Club. The club purchased a classic yellow Piper Cub and in 1949 he and a fellow Hawk club member flew the Piper Cub from Dubuque, IA to Key West, FL for a Christmas vacation, using only charts and maps for navigation.
Bob was a great dancer and loved doing the jitterbug so it’s fitting that he met his wife, Madonna Halliday at a wedding dance at Melody Mill, Dubuque, IA. They were married on May 24, 1952 and enjoyed 67 years together.
Professionally Bob started his career as a math teacher and drivers ed teacher before embarking on his career as an aeronautical design engineer at Solar Aircraft Company, Des Moines, IA. He remained an aeronautical design engineer for many years and his proudest achievement was devoting seven years to the design of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II at McDonnell Aircraft, St. Louis, MO. He went on to work as a design engineer at Aero Commander in OK, Piper Aircraft, Vero Beach FL, Lear Fan, Reno, NV, and Fluid Systems, San Diego, CA. He was a devout Catholic and was an active parishioner at St. Anne Catholic Church, San Diego, CA where he attended the Traditional Latin Mass. His love of God shone through daily in his generosity toward everyone he encountered who needed assistance and the support he provided to many young priests he helped through their seminary years. After his wife’s passing in Oct 2019, his daughter Theresa lived with him, taking care of him in San Diego for a year. Bob spent his final year at Atria Assisted Living, Reno, NV, close to his devoted family who saw him every day. His caring spirit continued as he graciously accepted needed help from care staff and family, always thanking everyone for the simplest deeds and assistance. He would often say, “Thank you, thank you for EVERYTHING”. He loved doing crossword puzzles, watching classic Sherlock Holmes movies and entertaining everyone with his great sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, neighbors and members of his San Diego Parish.