SOUTHWICK - Arnold S. Rice, 82, of Southwick, died Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at Noble Hospital, Westfield.
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Arnold was born Feb. 16, 1932, to Stanley H. and E. Madeline (Cole) Rice of Hinsdale. He graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1949.
A Navy veteran, he served four years in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets during the Korean War aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Bordelon, DDR881, as an electronics technician.
At Berkshire Community College and North Adams State College, Mr. Rice earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, attending evening classes.
He worked in various capacities for the General Electric Company for 37 years, retiring as a manager of production and inventory control at the former GE plant in Rome, Georgia.
A life long musician, he enjoyed playing the trombone. It is said that his first paid performances were played in establishments where he was to young to order certain beverages. An advocate of the Community Band movement he performed with many organizations such as the Eagles Band, the Pittsfield Concert Band and the Royal Garden Jazz Band of Berkshire County, The Brewster Band of Cape Cod, and the Greater Westfield Area Community Band of Westfield. He was also leader of his own Festival Brass Quartet playing classical brass music at local churches and other venues.
Other activities have been in Congregational, UCC Churches, serving as a Deacon in Dalton, West Yarmouth, and Westfield, churches. He was also a member of the town planning board and the board of appeals in Dalton.
Mr. Rice is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Jean A. (Woodstock) Rice; sons Stephen H. Rice and his wife Louise of Kennebunkport, Maine, Charles B. Rice and his wife Sabine of Carlsbad, California, and the Rev. James W. Rice and his wife Beth of Florence; daughters Elizabeth A. Webb and her husband Timothy J. Webb of Dalton, and Susan M. Erickson and her husband Clayton A. Erickson of Princeton; six grandchildren, Matthew J. Larkin and William J. Munch of Dalton, Theresa J. Munch of Hinsdale, Sarah E. and Kristen A. Erickson of Princeton, and Bianca F. Rice of Carlsbad, California; a sister Judith A. Bocknek of Andersonville, Tennessee; a brother Paul B. Rice of Hinsdale; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, July 5, at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Dalton. Burial is to be in the Hinsdale Cemetery, Hinsdale.
Memorial donations may be sent to the First Congregational Church of Dalton, 514 Main St., Dalton, MA 01226.
Mitchell Funeral Home
15 Park Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on July 1, 2014