William (Bill) Rice was ushered into the arms of Jesus at 4:43pm May 5,2022 at the age of 85 listening to Country Gospel music surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years Carole (2019) and his son Michael (1986). He is survived by his wife of almost 2 years, Harryette Shuell; his daughter Robin (Dean), and his son Mark (Laurie) along with 6 grandchildren, Shawna, Melissa, Aaron, Tiffany, Eddie, and Amy and 8 great grandchildren, Addison, Hannah, Zoe, Kaylee, Talon, Jordan, Alex, and Wyatt and an extended step family.
Bill was born January 22, 1937 in Austin, Minnesota to Ken and Leona Rice. He was second in line of 6 children. He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his older sister Jean Sargent and youngest brother Ken Rice. He is survived by sisters, Sharon (Walt) Strangman, Mary Boyenga and brother Robert Rice. He left home at the young age of 17 to join the Air Force. Bill went on to serve 20 years in the Air Force traveling all over the world and United States as a communications technician and retired as a MSGT in Tacoma WA in 1974. He met Carole on a blind date while on duty at Fairchild AFB in Spokane Washington. They almost didn’t get together again but he called a few weeks later for a second date and the rest is history. They married September 14, 1957. The first of their children Robin was born July 24, 1958. Six months later he was sent TDY to the Aleutian Islands for a year. When he returned, they moved to Sacramento California where twins Mark and Michael were born on August 25, 1960. From there they moved to San Angelo, TX; Edinburgh, Scotland; Biloxi, Mississippi; Kenai Alaska; and finally Tacoma, Washington where he retired. During those many years he also served in Vietnam, went to the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and many places around the United States. After retirement he went on to become a TV technician until son Michael was killed by a drunk driver in Dec 1986 at which time they moved to their current home in Eugene Oregon to help Mike’s twin Mark run a pizza business for the next 13 years. He once again retired and enjoyed life with Carole. He was actively involved in MADD for 19 years helping to mold young minds to the perils and dangers of drunk driving, speaking at many outreach events and serving as both Vice President and President of the Lane County chapter. He and Carole also helped start a Victims Impact Panel in Lane County and was active in his church. He completed a year of seminary in his early 70’s.
On January 3, 2019 Carole went to be with Jesus after a 6 week long battle against a kidney infection. In the months that followed he would often go visit friends in Oregon City and it’s at that time he met Harryette also a widow. At first it was companionship, but eventually they fell in love and married in a small ceremony at home on July 11, 2020. The last few years of his life were filled with second love, companionship, long talks, and joy-filled days.
He fiercely loved the LORD, his family, and his friends. He also loved NASCAR and watched races every weekend with son Mark. And he loved West Highland Terriers owning several.
Celebration of Life will be held at Willamette Christian Center (2500 W. 18th Ave Eugene, OR) Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 11 am.
Please send donations to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers https://www.madd.org/oregon