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Peter Van Rice Obituary

Peter Van Santvoord Rice Peter Van Santvoord Rice, 89, of 250 Pantops Mountain Road, Charlottesville, Virginia, died on Thursday, December 27, 2012, at the Westminster Canterbury Health Center after a short illness. Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, son of William T. and Agnes Van Santvoord Rice, Peter was a 1945 graduate and active alumnus of Williams College. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in the Pacific during World War II and served as an intelligence officer with the First Division in Tientsin China. After returning home and graduating from Williams College, he attended Harvard Business School where he received his MBA. He then joined the textile company A.H. Rice Company, founded by his great grandfather in 1878, where he served as its president until the business was sold in 1982. He served on several corporate boards, including Multibank Financial Bank, one of the largest regional banks in New England. He was also a director of Plow and Hearth in Madison, Virginia, until it was sold in 1998. Peter was extremely active in charitable organizations, serving as the president of a 150 bed hospital in Pittsfield when it merged with a private Catholic hospital to form The Berkshire Medical Center. He and his wife, Jane, were instrumental in creating a large permanent "green belt" along the Housatonic River, which was given to the National Audubon Society. He also served as a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where he was chairman of the Historic Sites Committee for 9 years, until 2002. Peter and Jane moved from Massachusetts to Alexandria, Virginia, in 1992, to be closer to their family and his work with the National Trust. They moved to Westminster Canterbury in Charlottesville in 2006, where Peter was active on several committees. He loved the outdoors and sports and played tennis through his 89th birthday. He was also an ardent supporter of the University of Virginia men's lacrosse and women's basketball teams. Peter was married to Jane Gidley in 1943, just before he left for the war.They were partners in life for 69 years. In addition to Jane, he is survived by his brother, John H. Rice; his son, Peter G. Rice and daughter-in-law, Peggy S. Rice of Madison, Virginia; and his son, Tony G. Rice of Sedona, Arizona. His grandchildren are Peter M. Rice of Madison, Virginia, Darcy G. Baker of Lovingston, Virginia, and Maggie R. Bullard of Park City, Utah. His great-grandchildren are Peter Van S. Rice II, S. Griffin Rice, Somerset M. Rice, and Amelia G. Rice, all of Madison, Samuel H. Baker of Lovingston, and Chase S. Bullard of Park City, Utah.

A memorial service will be held in the summer at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Chatham, Massachusetts, where Peter and Jane had a summer home for 45 years.

Memorial contributions in Peter's honor may be sent to Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge Foundation, 250 Pantops Road, Charlottesville, VA 22911.

This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.
Read Full Obituary for Peter Rice
Published online on January 5, 2013 courtesy of Daily Progress.

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