RICE, Patrick John July 22, 1924 - July 27, 2014 We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Patrick John Rice. He leaves behind his devoted wife, Peggy Elizabeth of 69 years; five children, Kathleen Ann (Jim), Maureen Patricia (Dennis), Stephen John (Janice), Anthony George and Patricia Joan along with many loving family members. Patrick and Peggy are proud grandparents to 10 and great grandparents to 9. Twenty-four lives all made possible by the love of two people. Born in Barking, Essex, England in 1924, Patrick joined the Royal Navy at age 17. He served aboard the 7th Medallian Flottila, a high speed torpedo boat also known as MTB's. His duty took him to the Mediterranean, in North and West Africa, Egypt, Malta, Sicily and Italy. Patrick's decorations include the Malta Cross. During the war in Europe the Navy's "little ships"- the MTBs, MBGs and MLs, fought 780 actions and sank more than 500 enemy vessels, and fired 1,169 torpedoes. Patrick told us of his adventures, camaraderie with his shipmates and heroic tales of bravery and courage while at sea with the Royal Merchant Marine. He was proud to have been a member of the Navy and showed us this every Remembrance Day as he donned his Naval attire. Patrick met Peggy upon his return to England, after the conclusion of WW2. The night they met each serenaded one another with touching love songs. It was love at first sight! Patrick married his lovely bride, Peggy in 1945 and were later blessed with a family of two girls and two boys. The Rice family immigrated to Vancouver, B.C. in 1957 and later had another child, Patricia. In 1963, the family moved to Victoria where Patrick was instrumental in the planning and operation of the then newly constructed Mayfair Shopping Centre. As time passed he went on to manage the shopping centre for many years with the assistance of his fine crew whom he highly regarded. There were everyday examples of how Patrick showed us of how to live. Married to the love of his life for just shy of 69 years, he showed us how to love and how to cherish our partners. His endless love for Peggy showed every day and her reciprocation of unwavering love for him was evident. And all of this love was equally matched by the happiness in Patrick's heart. An infectious happiness that was often displayed by singing, or tales to many a grocery cashier of his achievement of reaching the Gold Star level of tap dancing certification. When he found there was no further room for advancement, he was forced to take up baton twirling. Always a jokester, a showman and a corny joke to tell. But singing was something that he was truly gifted at. He had a song for every moment, always with words to suit the time at hand. Even on the day of his passing Patrick, in great pain, sang to the emergency ward nurses. Surrounded by many family members on the day he left us all, Patrick reiterated his promise to love Peggy forever. Always a gentleman, loving, kind, happy, thankful and never judging. There will never be anyone like him! We will miss you and love you forever Patrick, Dad, Grandad, Poppa!
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Published in Victoria Times Colonist from Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2014