February 25, 2024

William Lee Rice


William Lee Rice, 84, known to friends and family as Bill, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 29, 2024, at the Hattie Ide Chaffee Home in East Providence, Rhode Island. Born on October 26, 1939, in Seattle, Washington, He was the devoted husband of Martha Rice Sanders, and father to Jason Rice of Island Heights, New Jersey, and stepfather to Daniel Beshers of Halifax, MA, and Edward Beshers of Natick, MA. His role as a grandfather to Jackson Rice, Frances Morgan Rice, and step-grandfather to Rory, Wesley, Davia, and Nessa Beshers brought him great joy.

He got his bachelor's degree in botany at the University of Washington and did graduate work in photography at The Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

Bill served as manager of the photography lab for Brown University and subsequently opened his own photography studio in Providence. There, he did photographic work for Brown's special collection libraries and the Brown Medical School.

After retiring, He won elections to the Seekonk Planning Board and subsequently to the Seekonk Board of Selectmen for one term. He then worked for a couple years selling solar installation. He volunteered at Doorways.

An avid gardener, he found peace and solace in the nurturing of plants.  His love for the game of golf was matched only by his enthusiasm for reading, which allowed him to explore worlds beyond his own. Travel was another of Bill's passions, leading him to experience diverse cultures and landscapes, always with a camera at his side. As a man who found solace in nature, William enjoyed nothing more than spending time outdoors, whether it was in the woods or simply basking in the serenity of his own backyard. His culinary skills were a source of delight for his family and friends, who were often treated to his delicious creations. Bill's commitment to environmental activism reflected his deep respect for our planet and his desire to leave it better than he found it. He channeled his energy into protecting natural spaces and advocating for sustainable practices, inspiring those around him to take action for the environment. .

Friends and family will remember William as a handy and creative individual, always ready to lend his skills to any project or problem. His passion was evident in everything he undertook, and he approached life with a sense of purpose and joy. William's legacy is one of love, artistry, and advocacy. He will be dearly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. As we remember Bill, we celebrate a life lived fully with passion and heart. His spirit will continue to inspire us.

A memorial service will be held at First Unitarian Church of Providence in the spring.

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