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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • 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.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. 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.

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