Richard E. Rice Jr., 72, of Hazelton, IA, died on Monday, April 26, 2021 at Unity Point – Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, IA following brief battle with cancer.
Richard was born on November 9, 1948 in Prairie Du Chien, WI, the son of Richard E. and Inze M. (Hooser) Rice. He was raised and attended elementary school in Galena, IL. In the late 1950’s his family moved to Waterloo, IA following his fathers work with the railroad. He was a 1966 graduate of Waterloo Columbus High School. On July 15, 1966, Richard joined the United States Army. He served during the Vietnam War in the 1st Air Cavalry Division with the 101st Airborne. He received his honorable discharge on February 22, 1969 and returned to Iowa.
In March of 1969 he married Patricia Gray at St. Nicholas’s Catholic Church in Evansdale, IA. They made their home in Evansdale and had two children together. Richard worked for over thirty-five years with the Don Gardner Construction Company in Waterloo, IA. In 2001 he started a new job as a steel worker with Tournier’s Recycling in Independence, IA. He enjoyed working with the heavy machinery there until his retirement in 2010. Richard quickly found out he wanted to stay busy and began to bartend part time at the Eagles Roost/Fat Boy’s Saloon in Hazelton, IA.
He was proud of his service to his country. He later became active with the AmVets Post 31, and served as the Secretary Treasurer, and the 1st Vice Commander for several years. He enjoyed volunteering in the community of Evansdale and served as the Secretary Treasurer and later the President of the JC’s.
Richard was known to almost everyone in his life as a history buff. He was an avid reader and went through countless books a year. He enjoyed watching the History Channel and westerns, Gunsmoke was his favorite. He also enjoyed riding his motorcycle with his friends, and often rode with the Waterloo Outlaws.
Richard enjoyed his time talking with friends. He loved spending time with his family and was extremely proud of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He is survived by his two children, Dawn Rice, Waterloo, IA, and Bob Rice, Waterloo, IA, 4 grandchildren, Courtney Knebel, Evansdale, IA, Nathan Knebel, Johnston, IA, Madison (Tomah) Hall, Waterloo, IA, and Devyn Christoffer, Cedar Falls, IA, three great grandchildren, Cason Knebel, Jaxon Hall, and Tenley Hall, two sisters, Mary (Richard) Peyton, La Porte City, IA, and Barb (Shane) Kendrick, Cedar Falls, IA, a brother Dan (Kim) Rice, Washburn, IA, a sister-in-law, Lori Rice, Waterloo, IA, and many nieces and nephews.
Richard is preceded in death his parents, Richard and Inze Rice, and two brothers, Wayne and Chuck Rice.
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, April 30th from 3 PM until 7 PM at the AmVets Post 31, 706 Colleen Ave, Evansdale, IA.
To leave an on-line condolence please go to www.reifffamilycenter.com under obituaries.