Bill Rice, 92 years old, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed away peacefully at home on October 9, 2023. He was born March 16, 1931, in Independence, Kansas to Florence and Bert Rice. He is survived by his wife Susan of Lee’s Summit, MO, son David and his wife Angela of Benton, AR, and daughter Sara and her husband Chandra of Austin, TX. Bill has five grandchildren – Kim, Matt, Haley, Mira, and Alanah – and two great grandchildren – Zoe and Bonnie – as well as many nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by his father, his mother, and his sister Virginia.
Bill was raised in Coffeyville, Kansas and graduated from Field Kinley High School in 1949. He attended Coffeyville Community College for two years before being drafted to serve in the US Army. After basic training at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX, Bill was stationed in Germany for his two years in military service. Upon his return, he attended the University of Tulsa and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. After graduation, he accepted a job with IBM working out of their Tulsa branch office. He later transferred to the Kansas City branch office and worked for the company for the remainder of his career until his retirement in 1987. Along the way, many coworkers became lifelong friends and he loved to reminisce about the memories made.
As a young boy, Bill loved spending time on his maternal-grandparent’s farm near Grenola, KS. He loved to share stories about his experiences on the farm and watching his grandfather at work. That’s likely where his love for animals started and was nurtured. Bill’s father had horses that he would help care for, and the family always had a pet dog. His bond with the dogs was always so close – the local paper once wrote an article about his dog waiting for him on the school steps… on a Saturday! Bill also had a love for all things mechanical – starting with bikes, moving up to scooters, graduating to cars, trucks, and motorcycles. He loved to work with his father on his route as a delivery driver for Jung’s cookies and crackers.
As an adult, Bill showed his appreciation for mechanical things by always wheeling and dealing for the best deal on a new car. He was a music lover and had a vast collection of CDs that he enjoyed listening to while sitting out on the deck. He enjoyed being outside whenever possible and would take his dogs on long walks around the neighborhood. He liked to travel to new places both in the US and abroad, and he and Susan got to take many wonderful trips.
Bill will be forever missed. But those who remain to carry on his legacy will mourn and celebrate in equal measure. His generosity, kindness, and support of those he loved knew no bounds. He was a great storyteller and loved to laugh.
Services will be held at Langsford Funeral Home at 115 SW 3rd Street in Lee’s Summit on Monday, 10/23/23, with the visitation starting at 11:00. A family burial will be held in Grenola, KS the following day.
Because of his love for animals, donations may be made to Wayside Waifs of Kansas City.