EAST PEORIA - Philip C. "Phil" Rice, 61, of East Peoria passed away Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at his residence.
He was born Aug. 3, 1955, in Peoria to Charles and Marilyn (Thompson) Rice.
Phil is survived by two brothers, Stephen (Kimiyo) Rice of Gaithersburg, Md., and Douglas (Joan) Rice of Morton; one sister, Paula Eleam of Morton; three nieces, Teresa Altman, Elizabeth Rice and Sarah Eleam; and two nephews, Brian and Aaron Eleam.
He was preceded in death by his parents; nephew, Erik Eleam; and brother-in-law, Dennis Eleam.
Phil graduated from high school in Glasgow, Scotland, and attended the American College of Switzerland in Leysin, Switzerland, for two years.
Phil worked 22 years for the United States Postal Service in the Peoria Postal Encoding Center and worked the past 12 years as a career employee. Prior to that, Phil worked 20 years at Radio Shack, where in 1976 he bought his first computer with 4K memory. It was the size of a large breadbox!
When Phil was 15 years old, he was introduced to Ham radios and began a lifetime of love for the medium. He held call signs from 5 different countries, including Scotland, Switzerland, Belgium and the Unites States, where he had resided in all, with additional country of Belize. At age 20 (1975), Phil had the honor of assisting at the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva, Switzerland, where he operated call sign 4U1ITU on behalf of the United Nations. In December of 1991, Phil travelled to Belize and operated call sign V31-EE, achieving a new record with respect to the number and speed with which he made radio contacts.
Throughout his life, Phil was an active member of the Heart of IL Repeater Club, the 97 Club and the Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club.
A memorial service for Philip will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home in Morton, with Pastor Gary Motta officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m., prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial of cremated remains will be held at Roberts Cemetery.
Cremation rites have been accorded.
Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society
, West Central Regional Office, 4234 N. Knoxville Ave., Peoria IL 61614; or the Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association, 325 E. Queenwood Rd., Morton, IL 61550.
The family wishes to thank his longtime friend, Merle Joiner; and his OSF Hospice nurse, Christine. They would also like to extend their appreciation to his nurses, Laurie, Mary, Karen and Teresa, for their kind care and compassion.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.knappjohnson.com