Stanley John Rice

TURNER – Stanley John Rice, 86, of Turner, passed away on Nov. 27, 2020. Stan was the devoted husband of 65 years to Marilyn Foss Rice. Together they raised four children, Susan Patton married to James of Derry, N.H., Katherine Frey married to Gregory of Edina, Minn., Gregory Rice married to Caroline of Marston Mills, Mass., and Jonathan Rice married to Nancy, of Hanson, Mass. Stan was also blessed by 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Stan, the son of Harry and Mary Rice and brother of Isabel, was born on March 5, 1934 in Waltham, Mass. and raised in Dorchester. He was confronted by significant family challenges throughout his childhood, and for this reason relied heavily on a very close network of friends. Among them was Richard Carey, whom Stan was so proud to have remained lifelong friends. Stan always enjoyed telling stories about his adventurous childhood pursuits and especially cherished his memories of half-ball games with the neighborhood kids.

Stan attended Blaney Memorial Baptist Church in Dorchester as a young boy and found tremendous joy in learning hymns and singing gospel music in the congregation. His love of music would grow throughout his 86 years. Stan sang in various church choirs throughout his life – most recently at Auburn Methodist Church in Auburn.

In later years he took special joy in reacquainting himself with his saxophone and also taking requests for him to play a tune on his harmonica, to the delight of loved ones.

In 1951 Stan left home for Korea where he honorably served as a ranger in the infantry. In 1953 a mortar round exploded near him and consequently, Stan sustained a traumatic head injury. Stan was subsequently awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery and service. As the war was winding down, Stan was called home upon being informed that his father was dying of cancer. Stan always cherished the two weeks he was able to spend with his father before he passed and was eternally grateful to the military for arranging his release from service.

Unquestionably, Stan was a proud patriot who loved his country. One of his favorite pastimes in his retirement was attending the annual 4th of July parade in Turner and enjoying a hearty bowl of strawberry shortcake immediately thereafter.

Upon returning from Korea and following the death of his father, Stan enrolled at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass. to pursue his lifelong love of learning. Shortly after the start of the school year his future wife saw Stan and said to her roommate, “That’s the man I am going to marry.” Less than a year later, on Sept. 3, 1955 at the Nazarene Church in Livermore Falls, they were married. Stan eventually graduated and began his career as a math teacher, teaching at the middle, high school and college levels. He continued his education, eventually receiving his master’s degree from Rutgers University.

Among Stan’s many hobbies were swimming, strength training, and cycling. Throughout his life he would point to a location from the beach and swim off into the horizon. Stan drew inspiration from his childhood hero and physical fitness guru, Jonny Weissmuller, the Tarzan of the 1930s. His love for cycling and swimming went hand in hand as he would cycle to various beaches in search of his next memorable swim. As a teacher at Norwell High in the 1960s and ’70s, he frequently pedaled his bike to school. Students would gleefully shout out words of encouragement to “Stan the Man” when they passed him in the school bus.

Once he retired from teaching, his son Gregory made a wooden sign with the words “Stan’s Bicycle Shop” engraved in it. After Greg hung the sign from a tree in the front yard, a steady stream of customers immediately followed and Stan’s Bicycle Shop was born. Stan’s Bike Shop was the place to go to get your bike fixed in Hanson during the 1980s. Stan took tremendous pride and satisfaction in repairing a child’s bicycle so that perhaps they too, would grow to enjoy cycling as much as he did. His garage was always full of bikes because the service was extraordinary and the fee was minimal!

Stan also spent many hours during his retirement at various libraries, reading and researching any topic that caught his interest. He would rarely be found without a book in his hand on the topic of science, philosophy or theology. Anyone who knew Stan knew all too well that he was also more than happy to share with you what he had been reading lately! He also loved poetry, and attributed that love to his eighth grade teacher, Miss Lannigan. However, Dad’s greatest love was his wife Marilyn—whom he frequently proudly acclaimed, “the best decision of my life”. Together they taught their children and grandchildren the power of everlasting companionship, love and devotion.

Stan loved living in Turner and frequently spoke of the kindness of strangers. He cherished his Korean Veteran hat, and enjoyed countless complementary cups of coffee purchased by appreciative citizens. In 2018 he was invited on an honor flight to Washington D.C., which he proudly attended with his daughter. Kathy. This was one of the most significant highlights of his life. He was filled with pride and satisfaction upon meeting a South Korean couple who stopped, bowed, and emotionally thanked him for his service.

In his later years, Stan continued to relish the many warm days he spent chatting with family and friends at Bear Pond in Turner. Stan was so proud of his children. He marveled at their successes and also loved hearing about his grandchildren’s achievements.

The family would like to thank family friend, Dee Small for helping Stan with his care and supporting Marilyn during the end of Stan’s life. Stan knew his beloved Marilyn would be well cared for after his passing by family and Dee. Stan Rice lived an honorable life. He will be missed greatly by all who knew and loved him.

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Funeral Services with full Military Honor will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 at FINLEY FUNERAL HOME, 15 Church St., Livermore Falls. Rev. Steve Bascom Sr. will be officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., prior to the funeral services at the funeral home. Private interment at a later date at East New Portland Cemetery, School Street, New Portland.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Stanley J. Rice’s memory to:

Honor Flight Maine,

P.O. Box 1770,

Portland, ME 04104-1770.

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