Ellis Austin Rice, 90, of Las Vegas, Nevada, passed away after a long illness, on May 26, 2013. He was under the care of Hospice.
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Ellis Austin Rice was born in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. He was adopted by Joseph and Charlotte Rice and was raised in Archer, Idaho. At the age of 12, he started working for local farmers. He was active in sports. He played basketball for Madison High School in his junior and senior years.
He married an Archer girl, Grace Ida Sutton, on March 18, 1942. That summer they spent running a service station in West Yellowstone.
In 1943 he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He traveled to England on the Queen Mary and trained for the invasion of France. He became part of the 877th Signal Company and was assigned to combat engineering group. He landed on Omaha Beach on June 8.
After World War II, he trained as a mason. That became his life work. He built many houses in the Idaho Falls area, including many in the Jenny Lee Addition.
In 1965, he moved his family to Las Vegas, Nevada to find work. His work can be found in many of the hotels and casinos in the city. While there the family spent many days on Lake Mead water skiing and camping with friends and family.
Ellis and Grace spent many summers in Idaho traveling in their motor home. They traveled back east many times to reunions with the men he served with in the Army. They learned to golf and loved it. They spent many enjoyable hours walking the fairways.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Their marriage was sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple. He served as a member of the bishopric in the Ucon Ward. He also served as Young Men's president and as Scoutmaster for many years.
Ellis is survived by his wife, Grace, of 71 years, children, Linda (Alton) Erickson, of Idaho Falls; Lana Blaisdell, of Hartsville, South Carolina; Arlene Phillips, of Las Vegas; David (Cindy) Rice, of Las Vegas; and Brett Rice, of Pocatello; 14 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Cummings, and a brother, Joseph Rice.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at the Sutton Cemetery in Archer. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at Eckersell Memorial Chapel, 101 W. Main Street, Rigby. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.
Eckersell Funeral Home
101 West Main St. Rigby, ID 83442
Published in Rexburg Standard Journal on June 6, 2013