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Robert F. Rice

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Robert F. Rice Obituary

Robert F. "Bob" Rice

84, Indianapolis, died on February 6, 2013. Bob was born in Indianapolis to the late Ward J. and Kathryn Hall Rice and remained a lifelong resident. He graduated from Shortridge High School in 1946 and continued his education at Hanover College, graduating in 1952 having majored in zoology and geology. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta.

He served his country in the army during the Korean War stationed in Boston. He and his loving wife of 60 years, Mary L. (Lou) Rice, were married on January 18, 1953. Upon leaving the service, he worked as an engineer first for Allison, Division of GM, then Union Carbide, retiring from Eli Lilly after 23 years in 1989. While working for Union Carbide, he designed a part that ended up on the first Mercury space flight.

Upon retirement, Bob enjoyed life to the fullest - enthusiastically embracing his many interests and hobbies, among which were model railroading (especially NY Central), model airplanes, photography, genealogy, birding, and all things nature. He and Lou traveled the world chasing birds, adding to his life list which numbered nearly 1400. Among the many places visited were Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and throughout the U.S.

He was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. In addition to his wife Lou, he is survived by his children, Ted Rice, Dan (Jan) Rice, Tim Rice, Carol (Rob) Kortman and Bill Rice; his grandchildren, Matt and Emily Rice, Chris and John Kortman and his great-granddaughter, Keira Rice, all of Indianapolis. He also leaves behind his five rescue dogs, who were his constant companions. He was preceded in death by his sister, Delane Rice Neuman.

His many memberships included Northminster Presbyterian Church, the Indianapolis Zoo, the Audubon Society, the Eiteljorg Museum, the Indianapolis Art Museum, the Indiana Native Plant and Wildlife Society and the New York Central Railroad Historical Society.

Bob will always be remembered for his passionate love of nature - both preserving and protecting all creatures great and small, and enthusiastically promoting the beauty of wildlife and wild flowers. By creating the Left Gate Farm Nature Sanctuary, Bob leaves his everlasting legacy.

A gathering to celebrate Bob's life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel . The memorial service will start at Noon, followed by open visitation with family and friends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

You may visit where you may share a memory with the family, sign the guest book, or in lieu of flowers, donations to the Indianapolis Humane Society or the Indianapolis Zoo would be gratefully appreciated.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Feb. 10 to Feb. 14, 2013
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