Rice, Hal

Written by David Green.

Hal Duane Rice, 84, was born on Jan. 15, 1923, the only child of Elmer "Red" and Nola (Figy) Rice in Fulton County, Ohio. He died Tuesday, March 27, at Grand Court in Adrian, Mich. He was surrounded not only by the love of his family but also the love and support of the staff at Grand Court and Hospice of Lenawee.

Hal graduated from Chesterfield High School as class president and in 2006 was instrumental in the planning of their 65th class reunion, which, unfortunately he was unable to attend due to the onset of his illness.

He was very active in the Grange and was one of the youngest Masters to be elected, at age 18, and held the office of Master of the Morenci Grange for a total of 30 years.

He lived in the Morenci area most of his life and his chosen vocation was that of dairy farmer, a career in which he excelled and enjoyed for many years. The value of the family farm was important to him and to his family.

Before he retired, he also drove a bus for Morenci Area School and delivered fuel oil for Lindeman Oil Company.

Regardless of his vocation, the most important things in Hal's life were his family and friends. At least once a week he maintained a relationship with dear friends from high school, and whether it was golfing, playing cards or just visiting, he enjoyed the laughter and the friendship. He would never walk away from a good game of cards and especially loved to win.

On Feb. 18, 1945, Hal married Alice Staelens. She preceded him in death on May 12, 1977. On Sept. 26, 1981, he married June (Phillips) Walton and she survives. He was also preceded in death by his parents, a granddaughter, Shannon Rice, and a step-daughter, Ruth (Walton) Sturt.

Hal is survived by a son, Jimmie (and Kathy) Rice of Tecumseh; a daughter, Bonnie (and Sonny) Snyder of Adrian; two step-sons, Robert Walton and his friend, Diana McGovern of Morenci and George (and Judy) Walton of Adrian. He is also survived by grandchildren Jeremy Rice, Melanie (and Zach) Crawford, Kevin (and Barbara) Walton, Barry Walton, Marissa (and Aaron) Baus, Kim Sturt and her fiancée, Dustin White, Holly (and Michael) Wood, Troy Snyder, Jill (and Bill) Kelley, and Megan Snyder. Hal had 10 great-grandchildren and many treasured friends.

Graveside services for Hal are scheduled at 11 a.m. Friday, March 30, at Oak Grove Cemetery in Morenci with the Rev. Dorothy Okray officiating. Visitation is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Eagle Funeral Home - Charles Fink Chapel in Morenci.

In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may make memorial contributions to Hospice of Lenawee County.

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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