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.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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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