Bernard L. Rice Sr.

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Aug. 28, 1922 - Feb. 28, 2014
OSCEOLA - Bernard L. Rice, Sr., 91, of Osceola passed from his earthly home at the Center for Hospice in Elkhart, Indiana on Friday, February 28, 2014. Bernard was born to Claude Rice and Rachel (Brownell) Rice in Elkhart, Indiana on August 28, 1922. His parents preceded him in death as well as his wife of 62 years, Norma (Annie) Emmert Rice, two brothers, Clarkson Rice and David Rice. He is survived by two sisters, JoAnne Studebaker and Julia Bliss. He is also survived by his three sons and three daughters: B. Loren (Ginny) Rice of Monroe, Georgia, Susan Jane(Edward) Rhodes of Tucson, AZ, Karen Ann (Paul) Juday of Osceola, IN, Jennifer Lynn (Lane) Laffoon of Elkhart, IN, Edward Claude (Dawn) Rice of Indianapolis, IN and Robert Alan (Jennifer) Rice of South Bend, IN; Grandchildren: Lt. Col. Michael (Gabriele) Tsung of the US Marines, Germany; Malcolm (Jennifer) Tsung of Londondeery, NH; Tamra Arthur of Littleton, CO; Rebecca Wyatt of Tucson, AZ; Chief Petty Officer Benjamin Juday on the submarine USS Pennsylvania SSBN, of Silverdale, WA; Troy (Angela) Rice of New Carlisle, IN; Molly and Jacob Rice of Indianapolis, IN; Kyle and Claire Rice of South Bend, IN and nine great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren plus a host of wonderful extended family members. Bernie was a tour guide and docent at the Northern Indiana Center for History, the Oliver Mansion Copshaholm, and gave presentations to numerous classrooms regarding his experiences with the 12th Armored Division, 82nd Medics in World War II. Bernie was a charter member of the Penn South Fire Department as well as a charter member of Chapter 132 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He served as a combat medic with Co. "C", 82 Armored Medical Battalion of the 12th Armored Division in the European Theater of Operations from December 7, 1944 to the end of the war in May 1945. His division was assigned to Patch's 7th Army, Patton's 3rd Army and The French First Army. Along the way he was awarded the Bronze Star and his unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their service during the "Battle of the Bulge." He earned his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering at Tri State University in 1950. While working at Bendix Aerospace in Mishawaka in 1952 he founded the Materials and Techniques Laboratory and managed it for 10 years. He then spent 9 years as a trouble shooter on materials and processing problems for the TALOS and TYPHON missile. He was assigned temporarily to the Mars Lander project in 1969. He was involved in project APOLLO's Bendix Lunar Rover and several smaller projects. He has talked with and shook the hands of the following astronauts that orbited or walked on the moon: Conrad, Borman, McDivitt, Irwin, Schmidt and Cernan and several Russian Cosmonauts who spent long periods aboard the Space Station "MIR". When the space programs wound down in 1970, he spent time with the US Naval Weapons Laboratory at Dahlgren, VA, 13 years with Dwyer Instruments introducing new techniques for processing new materials. He retired as Dwyer's Corporate Quality Control Manager. Following retirement, he spent 7 years designing and coordinated the building of a full sized model airplane called the ARUP that hangs today in the atrium of the South Bend Regional Airport. The family wishes to extend their appreciation to Bernie's caregiver, Teresa Moran and the wonderful nurses and staff of The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care of Elkhart. Memorial donations are requested to be made to The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care of Elkhart. Visitation for family and friends will be from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday March 5th 2014 at Zimmerman-Inman Funeral Home, 1109 Lincolnway West, Osceola, IN. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday March 6th, 2014 at the funeral home. His nephew, Rev. James Platner will preside and burial will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens where the Osceola American Legion and the US Army Honor Guard will render military honors. To send an online condolence, please visit
Funeral Home
Zimmerman-Inman Funeral Home - Osceola
1109 Lincolnway West  Osceola, IN 46561
Funeral Home Details
Published in South Bend Tribune from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2014
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