Richard Donald Brice returned to his Heavenly Father on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. Don was born to Eugene Brice and Carrie Smith Brice on March 23, 1925, in Tira, Texas. He spent his early years living on the family cotton farm, but his family eventually moved to the nearby town of Sulphur Springs during the Great Depression. There, Don attended Sulphur Springs High School where he met and fell in love with Vennie Wester. After graduating high school he attended business school in Dallas, but by that time the U.S. had entered World War II
, and young men everywhere were clamoring to enlist. In 1943, Don enlisted in the Army
Air Corps, and after basic training and gunnery school, he was sent to southern Italy where he served as a gunner on a B-24 bomber. On his 13th mission over northern Italy, his plane was shot down, and though he and all his crew mates parachuted safely, they were captured by the Germans upon landing. Don spent the remainder of the war as a P.O.W. in a German camp on the Baltic Sea. As the war was ending the following year, his camp was liberated by westward moving Russian troops. Once he arrived home and the war ended, Don married his sweetheart, Ven, on Aug. 20, 1945. Don and Ven first settled on the campus of Texas A&M, where he gained a Bachelor's of Science degree in agronomy. They then moved to Nacogdoches where he worked for the Department of Agriculture in the Soil Conservation Service. It was at this time that the young couple would begin a long-term commitment to the First Christian Church. In 1951, Don began working for the Red Star Fertilizer Company, and he and Ven moved back to hometown Sulphur Springs with their growing family. While living in Pittsburg, Texas, once again working for the Soil Conservation Service, Don received a call from the Lord to go into the ministry. He moved his family to Mason, Texas, where he served as a student pastor at the local Christian Church while attending seminary at Texas Christian University. When he received his Masters of Divinity in 1958, Don and his family returned to Nacogdoches where he accepted the pastor's position at First Christian Church. For the next 18 years he pastored this church which he loved dearly. Don is survived by son, Richard Brice; daughter, Donna Brice Smith; son, Gary Brice and wife Anita; son James Brice; grandchildren, Christine Chamblin, Rebecca Brice, Ryan Brice, Robert Brice, Charis Souquet and husband Arnaud, Calen Samples and husband Jay, Kensey Brice, Kendall Brice and Collin Brice; brother, Gene Brice and wife Liz; sister, JoAnn Salter; sister Martha Gillespie and husband Jack; sister Mary Paul and husband Jack; and a host of family and friends. Don's family and friends give thanks for his life and for his years as a devoted servant of the Lord. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, 2013, at First Christian Church. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013, at First Christian Church. Jerry Alexander, Thad Floyd, Dan Norton, Rick Still, John Swearingen and Russell Whitten will serve as pallbearers. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the First Christian Church. Condolences can be shared on line at www.lairdfh.net. Laird Funeral Home.