Jonathan Rice

Jonathan Gilmore Rice, 59, long-time resident of East Orleans, died February 7 of cardiac arrest following a lengthy battle with congestive heart failure. Jon was born in Needham, MA on Feb. 11, 1953. He grew up in So. Orleans, MA, attending Orleans and Nauset Regional schools. He graduated valedictorian of his class in 1971 and continued on to Harvard College, class of 1975, where he majored in Social Relations and minored in Visual Arts. While there, Jonathan was active in the Philips Brooks House Association. In high school, Jon was captain of the Nauset Varsity Tennis team and co-captain of the Varsity Basketball team. He was also a member of the first Nauset Basketball exchange teams (1969 and 70) to tour in England, Europe and the Soviet Union. After college, Jon worked as a draftsman and field engineer for several Cape surveying firms including Slade Associates in Wellfleet and Down Cape Engineering in Yarmouth. Over the years, as health permitted, he also worked at Jake Rooneys in Harwich and the Cape Cod Times, among other businesses. Jon was outstanding as an artist, writer and athlete. There was a certain grace in the way he expressed these natural abilities | whether writing a letter, creating a blueprint, or shooting a winning basket. He felt a strong sense of responsibility to those in need. He lent a hand to friends and strangers alike and he himself was thankful for help received. Jon shared a close relationship with his family, especially his two daughters with whom he shared his artistic talents and sense of humor, and of whom he was tremendously proud. In his late teens and early twenties, Jon first began experiencing the devastating effects of bipolar and schizo-affective disorders. Like so many others, Jon was courageous in his effort to meet the painful assaults of severe and chronic mental illness. He had high expectations for himself and remained a loving father, husband, son and brother throughout the course of his life. His family honors his strength and endurance and wishes him the peace he deserved in life. Jon is survived by his 2 daughters, Parker Rice of Newton, MA and her mother Gail Rice-Runyon and Briannah Rice of Yarmouth, and her mother Sue Rice; his parents, James H. Rice of Yarmouth Port and Lillian (Polly) Rice of So. Orleans; his sister Jamie Chalker and her husband Don of Chatham; his brother Peter Rice and his wife Amy of Brewster, and nieces, Amy Chalker of Santa Barbara, CA and Melanie Chalker of Chatham MA and nieces Ally and Kate Rice of Brewster, and his aunt Lucy Ann Niven of Greenville, South Carolina. He is also survived by many loving Gainey, Armstrong and Niven cousins and their families. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m. at St. Christophers Church, 625 Main St. in Chatham. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall at 12 Noon. Guests are invited to attend either or both gatherings. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: National Alliance on Mental Illness of Cape Cod & Islands, 5 Mark Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601; Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, 60 Cutter Mill Rd. Suite 404, Great Neck, NY 11021.

Published in The Cape Codder from Feb. 19 to Feb. 26, 2013