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John Wesley Rice

John Wesley Rice

John Wesley Rice, 63, a longtime Seattle resident, took a message to the other side after his big, loving heart stopped on June 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California where he was pursuing work in film and television.

John was born on May 10, 1950 in St. Louis, Missouri to the late Dr. James O., and Naomi Goodwin Rice. He attended Mercer Island High School where he distinguished himself as student body president and quarterback of the football team. He was a 1972 graduate of Stanford University earning a degree in Anthropology. John's interest in Theater took him to New York City where he studied acting with William Esper and Uta Hagen, and dance at the Alvin Ailey School. His marriage to Bellini Lacey was celebrated on September 21, 1992 in Port Townsend Washington.

John was a person of diverse interests and abilities. His work as an actor spanned more than three decades, and was always noted for wonderful characterizations. A self-taught carpenter, he designed and built several homes in Seattle. For the past decade his great passion and vision was the restoration of the 100-year-old Rice Ranch homestead near Kahlotus, WA. To those who knew him best it seemed as if there was nothing he couldn't do if he put his mind to it. Certainly to him, his greatest accomplishment was the family and partnership he created with his wife Bellini.

Besides Bellini, John is survived by his beautiful daughter Lola Naomi 13; brothers James Goodwin Rice of Norwich, Vermont and Joel Edward Rice of Ibiza, Spain; cousins, and countless friends.

John Wesley Rice will be remembered as a man of keen mental capacity, persistence, good humor, and a willing sense of adventure. Mostly, however, he will be remembered and missed for the steadfast love, support and strength he never ceased to offer those who surrounded and loved him. His loss is inestimable.

A celebration of John Wesley's life will be held Monday July 1, 2013, 6:00 p.m. at the Langston Hughes Center, 104 17th Ave South, Seattle, Washington 98144. Remembrances to Mid-Columbia Libraries (Kahlotus Branch), 405 South Dayton, Kennewick, WA 99336.

Published in The Seattle Times on June 27, 2013
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