Harold I. Rice
BENNINGTON - Harold I. Rice, 88, a longtime resident of Wilmington, died peacefully at the Vermont Veterans Home on Thursday, July 22. The son of Merton and Marjorie (Williams) Rice, he was born in Wilmington on September 17, 1932. He grew up in Searsburg where he attended elementary school. He later attended Wilmington High School, graduating in 1951.
Harold served in the US Army and was stationed in Hawaii during the Korean War. Upon discharge, he returned to the area and worked for the Vermont Highway Department for 18 years, then for Deerfield Valley Supply for a number of years. He married his wife, Lucille (Stone) Rice, on August 1, 1959 at the Jacksonville Church.
In 1974, while working with his friend Buzz Cole doing landscaping and lawn maintenance, he saw a need in the valley and established his own business, Rice Lock. Over the next 28 years, he served his community and built a reputation of being fair, honest, and generous to his customers. He truly enjoyed this endeavor and became immersed in the business. He retired in 2002.
Harold was a member of the Wilmington Baptist Church, and a former member of the Wilmington Lions Club, and American Legion Post 15. His hobbies included painting, photography, model building, collecting watches and clocks, as well as driving his Lloyd Alexander, which he purchased new in 1959 and took on his honeymoon with Lucille. Harold was a well-known, friendly fixture in the community who could always be counted on to help anyone in any way he could.
He leaves his wife of almost 62 years, Lucille; daughter Vicki Wilson and her husband Peter, of Shaftsbury; sons Timothy Rice, of Groton, CT, and Vincent Rice, of Wilmington; brothers Steven Rice, of Portland, ME, and John Rice of, Live Oak, FL; grandchildren Jamie Wilson, Josiah Wilson, Casey Leblanc, and Brandi Younger; as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, July 29, at 11 am at the Wilmington Baptist Church, with Pastor Douglas LaPlante and Reverend Rick Gramlin co-officiating. Burial with military honors followed in the family lot in Riverview Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Wilmington Baptist Church in care of the Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, PO Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.
To send personal condolences visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.