GERALD W. (GARRY) RICE
Gerald Wayne Rice, passed away on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at his home in Seeley Lake, of natural causes.
He was born at home in Metropolis, Illinois on September 24, 1938 to Louis and Pauline Rice. As a young boy the family, now including sister Sharon, moved to The Black Hills ouside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Garry often talked of his many adventures he and his horse and dog enjoyed while roaming around all the open land near their home. He attended the local schools and after graduating from Monument High School was pleased to accept an appointment to the Coast Guard Academy in Groton, CT. He left the Academy after his first year and joined the Coast Guard Reserves and began attending Seattle University where he received his Civil Engineering degree. Garry's parents and now sister and brother, Terry, had moved to Vashon Island, Washington. During those 4 years at the university he met Carole Egness, a friend of his sister and they began a 3-year courtship culminating in their marriage on Vashon Island in April, 1962. Upon graduation from Seattle U in 1961 Garry began a career with the Army Corp of Engineers , Seattle District, which lasted until his retirement in 1993. During his 32 years with the Corp he worked on estimating, relocation and design and retired as Chief of the Design Branch and became a literal encyclopedia on Libby Dam.
Garry and Carole lived on Vashon Island with their growing family until 2001 when they decided to leave Vashon and join their daughter Kari and family in Seeley Lake. Robin, Rhonda, and son Garry were all young adults with their own families by then. Life in Seeley Lake has been so rewarding and we have loved calling this home. A major attraction to living here was the outdoor hunting and fishing opportunities that Garry loved so much. He loved spending time in the woods and on the Blackfoot River. After retirement we bought a small travel trailer and traveled all over our beautiful America as well as many countries throughout the world. About 5 years ago we began to stay home more when Garry's dementia began to take its toll on his body. These past few years we've been blessed to have had wonderful caregivers for Garry to enable him to stay in our home. He had a smile for everyone that came through our doors and having near-by grandchildren pop in occasionally was a joy for him. Oh, how he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren!
Our family all agree that he was a very modest, humble and honest man. He taught us how we should treat others. He was fair and said that there is always two sides of the story and to give people the benefit of the doubt. Most importantly though, Garry showed by his example how vital it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus and God our Heavenly Father.
Survivors include Carole, his wife of 60 years, three daughters and their families: Robin (Scott) Dowell, their children Sam, Molly, Will and Neela, Rhonda(Randi)Ackerman and their stable full of horses, dogs and cat, Kari (David) Nicholas, their children, Kaitlyn, Noah (deceased), Quinn and great-grandson Kade, 3 years, Micah, McKinley ( Lauren), Malachi, Ari, Mia, Eli & Rory. Son Garry (Toni) and sons Stephen (Samantha) and Ryan. Garry's sister Sharon (Ray) Raymond, brother, Terry (Marcy) and nieces and nephews and cousins. Thanks to our caregivers: Kristin Mason, Jon Hesla, Coleen Peltier, Rachel Homen and Elizabeth Wayne. Thank you to our wonderful Hospice team.
A family grave-side service will take place on Friday, Nov. 11th.