Charles Edward Rice
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Charles Edward Rice Aug. 7, 1931 - Feb. 25, 2015 MISHAWAKA - Charles Edward Rice, 83, died peacefully at 8:40 PM Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the University of Chicago Medical Center following an illness. He was born August 7, 1931, in Manhattan, NY, the youngest of four siblings. His father Laurence was active in Irish-American and Catholic organizations in New York City, and these causes remained at the heart of Professor Rice's beliefs and work throughout his life. A New Yorker at heart, he retained his dry sense of humor and never wavered in his allegiance to his favorite cocktail, a Manhattan on the rocks. But he also loved Indiana where he and his wife Mary moved in 1969, and often spoke of himself as a regular guy from Mishawaka. Known for his quick wit, he made it a daily practice to scan the obituary pages of the South Bend Tribune "to make sure he was not in them." Charlie loved Notre Dame and the Fight Song (often giving his grandkids pin-on buttons that played the Fight Song over and over). His devotion to Jesus Christ and Our Lady--"Notre Dame"--was the source of his commitment to the University and his passion that Notre Dame stay true to its Catholic identity. He loved his Catholic faith and deemed his classes teaching the faith to high schoolers or talks at parishes all over the country as important as any Supreme Court brief that he ever wrote. Family was always a priority for him; his many books were often written on the backs of envelopes while sitting in the bleachers at his children's swim meets, hockey games or track meets. He passed this commitment to family on to his children, along with his strong faith, and this legacy shone brightly in the last-minute trips his grandchildren made to come from Texas, Atlanta, New York, Dayton and Pittsburgh to be by his bedside the past few days. Dad was a prolific author who loved talk radio, and reading history, current events, theology. His great friend Bruce Fingerhut published many of his later books through South Bend's Saint Augustine's Press. When he wasn't reading he enjoyed great food, often seen at Maury's Pat's Pub and West End Bakery, picking up doughnuts for his family after racing Fr. Fisher to the bakery after 7 a.m. Mass. He was a "class act" who tipped generously and respected every kind of work. As a teenager he worked for his father's construction company and spoke fondly of his hod-carrying days on the skyscapes of the Big Apple. Despite his six honorary doctorates and many books and scholarly articles, he never forgot his roots as the son of a contractor and immigrant, and he raised his children to respect hard work as well, whether they were painting the farm fence or cleaning out the chicken coop on the family ranch. He loved his surviving collies and cats, and was predeceased by a long line of rescued animals. Professor Rice was an accomplished and brilliant scholar but was, first and foremost, a dedicated teacher. It was not uncommon for his home phone to ring at all hours of the night with calls from students who had experienced a family crisis or just had a question about torts--and he would answer the phone no matter what the hour. He loved teaching and remained in the classroom until December, and getting grades in on time for students took priority during his hospitalizations. He loved his students, receiving hundreds of Christmas cards every year from people who cherished his direction, friendship and kindness. But while humble, he was a man of extraordinary achievement. Prof. Rice received his B.A. degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., the J.D. from Boston College Law School, and the LL.M. and J.S.D. from New York University. He is also the recipient of honorary doctoral degrees from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Christendom College, Kenyon College, and other institutions of higher learning. He practiced law in New York City and taught at New York University Law School and Fordham Law School before joining, in 1969, the faculty of law at Notre Dame. He served for eight years as State Vice-Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party. From 1981 to 1993, Professor Rice was a member of the Education Appeal Board of the U.S. Department of Education. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and to various Congressional committees on constitutional issues, and is an editor of the American Journal of Jurisprudence. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps and was honored as an outstanding recruit by the Daughters of the American Revolution. He served in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring as a Lt. Colonel, and taking special pride in seeing his three sons, several grandsons, and a granddaughter, follow him into military service. Dad's Marine toughness lives on as well in the Notre Dame Boxing Club he helped coach for over thirty years, and he announced his intention to "be at the Bouts" this week in spirit. He was a renowned speaker and the author of 13 books. Among his books are Freedom of Association; The Supreme Court and Public Prayer; The Vanishing Right to Live; Authority and Rebellion; Beyond Abortion: The Theory and Practice of the Secular State; No Exception: A Pro-Life Imperative; Divided Ireland: A Cause for American Concern; 50 Questions on the Natural Law; and The Winning Side: Questions on Living the Culture of Life. His latest books are Where Did I Come From? Where Am I Going? How Do I Get There?, (2nd ed.) co-authored with his daughter, Dr. Theresa Farnan; What Happened to Notre Dame?, and Right or Wrong?. His final work, Contraception and Persecution, called by some his greatest work, was published in 2014. His continuing 13-part series, The Good Code: The Natural Law, is available from the Eternal Word Television Network. Professor Rice leaves behind his beloved wife, Mary, whom he met at Boston College Law School and subsequently rescued from a life as a lawyer by marrying her. Together they were blessed with ten children. Since "there is always room for one more" in an Irish family, the Rice clan expanded to include another son sponsored from South Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. He is survived by these children and their spouses, John Rice (wife Nancy, children Patrick, Michael, Catherine, Stephen, Matthew, Theresa and Mary), Mary Hasson (husband Seamus, children Michael and Kris, Mary Kate and Richard, James, Brigid, Peter, John Paul and Patrick), Anne Rice (children Rory, Liadan, and Brendan), Joseph Rice (wife Monika, daughter Miriam), Charlie Rice (wife Rachel, children Joseph, Anneliese and Charles), Jeanne White (husband Edward, children Catherine, Thomas, Daniel, Margaret and George), Theresa Farnan (husband Michael, children Michael, Mary Rose, Jeanne, Joseph, Elizabeth, Sarah, Kathleen, James, Paul and Annie), Kathleen Rice (daughter Maggie), Ellen Rice, Patricia Doran (husband Chad, children James, Claire, Catherine and Julia), and Mung (John) Van Le (wife Lan, son Andrew). His first great-grandchild pre-deceased him this past year. A man of great learning, he had a deep faith and a special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and the Divine Mercy of Jesus; he prayed a complete twenty decade Rosary every day. He was particularly grateful to Fr. Michael Heintz and Fr. Terry Fisher for their spiritual support over the years and through his illness. Visitation will be 4:00-8:00 Saturday and 2:00-7:00 Sunday, with Rosary being said at 6:00 p.m. at Hahn's Funeral Home in Mishawaka. Funeral will be held Monday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Parish, Mishawaka. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made care of Fr. Terrence Fisher to St. Joseph Parish, Mishawaka, where he and his family have worshipped for thirty-five years. To leave the family an online condolence, please visit our website at

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Published in South Bend Tribune from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2015.
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57 entries
November 7, 2018
Charlie Rice, in addition to being a highly accomplished scholar, was a down to earth guy who was extraordinary in his generosity towards others. Over his career he helped countless people. I was the recipient of his acts of generosity and I will be eternally grateful for his counsel and assistance over the years. His family has so much of which to be proud. God bless you.
Ford Cole
November 7, 2016
Dear Mary and family...Charlie was a one of a kind. He was a great teacher who influenced a whole generation or two of law professors. I will keep his memory alive in my own teaching where "Freddy Glotz" appears in lectures and exams regularly in Charlie's honor and memory. We worked closely on many projects- most especially on the Bengal Bouts, teaching religion at Marian High School (how did that happen??), soccer (his nephew, Jim, was my first soccer captain), coaching track (yes, track) together....... Even though we disagreed on politics (almost everything!!! ), we never once had a cross word... I am grateful to him for all he did for me... He was my role model as a teacher with Ed Murphy-- and my friend...We saw each other at ND one last time at our big soccer reunion... to Mary and the kids (his son is now at Seton Hall), I send you my love and my best thoughts... Rich Hunter
March 29, 2015
now let us praise famous men...
charlie was, inter alia, the first registered conservative in NY State to be elected to statewide office (c 1964). Charlie was a true and loyal friend then until now. RIP. Semper Fidelis---- and he was.
jim whalen
March 7, 2015
Colonel/Professor Charlie Rice was a courageous soldier of the Ecclesia Militans. I pray that, if he is not already a member of the Ecclesia Triumphans, he will be soon. He set an excellent example for the rest of us to follow. I will miss him and am happy to have had him as a friend. I hope to meet him again.
Dave Lutz, ND PhD '94
Assoc. Prof. of Philosophy
Holy Cross College
David Lutz
March 4, 2015
A great man and a great family. Our families were connected with swimming, school, and one of my dearest friends, Anne. My prayers go out to Mrs. Rice and his family.
Jane Sloan
March 3, 2015
I only knew Professor Rice from watching his teachings on EWTN television. What a lovely human being. I am learning much more about him. I am happy to read of his large family. Truly he was a blessing to others. His students were enriched by his wisdom. My sympathy to his dear family. May he rest in peace now with the God he served so faithfully.
Kathy Rabenberg
March 3, 2015
To Professor Rice's family,

Like many of Professor Rice's students, I came to ND law school with twelve years of Catholic schooling but little interest or understanding of the faith. I did not attend church except on Christmas and Easter, and I have the dishonorable distinction of having never once attended mass at ND despite spending three years there. And on top of that, I married a non-practicing Lutheran. Slowly, Professor Rice changed all of that. Over the years, and in his Jurisprudence class, Professor Rice pre-disposed me to come back to the faith, which I did shortly after returning to California. My wife later converted, and we have four kids -- with everyone going to church every weekend. None of this would have happened with Professor Rice. Since he died, I have been on two national satellite radio programs explaining what a great and influential person, who never seemed to judge anyone. Professor Rice was a giant whom I will greatly miss. My oldest son is at ND and just went to the pro-life rally in DC -- Professor Rice would have been proud.
Bob Boldt
March 2, 2015
My sincere condolences upon the loss of Charlie. We never met, but Charlie was extremely kind, and so open, in answering my concerned email questions about our Catholic faith in today's world, and at ND and SMC. He was a guide, and I was truly grateful. May he rest in eternal peace. And, may God bless his goodness.
Sheila Kelly Ames
March 2, 2015
Dear Mary, This sad news , brings such wonderful memories. You and I have been very lucky to have married such wonderful men. And I count myself very fortunate to have such wonderful friends and such wonderful fun-filled memories. Much Love, Frances --BC Law
Frances Clohessy-Spillane
March 2, 2015
Thank God for Professor Rice. He was a gift. I especially remember his smile, kindness, and encouraging spirit, all of which brightened the serious confines of law school. I was lucky to have met him.
Ed Shannon
March 1, 2015
What sad news to hear. To John, Mary, Anne, Charlie, Joe and all of the Rice Family. A great loss of a courageous man who always gave uplifting witness, teacher and example to the Christian spirit. I pray for the repose of his soul and for the Rice Family during this sad time
Bill Baker
March 1, 2015
To Jeanne and family,
It was a pleasure meeting you on 10 East and exchanging prayers for each other. Your father led a remarkable life that was undoubtedly made better through his loving family. With sincere sympathy.
Michael and Donna Luce
March 1, 2015
Professor Rice was a wonderful teacher, a good man and a good friend and mentor. He taught me jurisprudence back in 2012, in my last year of law school. He loved Christ, loved Our Lady, loved Notre Dame, and loved his students. He never hated those who disagreed with him (in the university administration, pro-choice individuals, whomever), and would often tell us students who loved him to pray for them. While clearly a tough old former Marine with a razor-sharp sense of humor (he loved to poke fun of us students when we would goof up), there was a kindness, gentleness, and generosity to him that is really rarely seen. God bless this faithful son of Holy Mother Church. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
John Gerardi
March 1, 2015
Our deepest condolences to the Rice family. Professor Rice had a profound impact on our lives as an example of Christian learning, courage and friendship. He was a wonderful mentor in the classroom and in the boxing ring. We will miss him greatly.
Tom & Kelly McCabe
March 1, 2015
To the Rice Family:
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy. It was a great honor to be taught by Professor Rice. He was an excellent teacher, and more importantly, he was incredibly helpful to his students. We are grateful we had the opportunity to meet him and to learn from him. As a devout Catholic and extremely dedicated husband and father, he was a wonderful role model for his students. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Connie & Tim Carey
Connie Carey
March 1, 2015
I knew Charles ("Charlie") Rice from the first through eighth grades at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills,NY, then at Regis High School, a Jesuit High School in Manhattan entrance only by scholarship, and was an altar boy with him at our church. Not only was Charlie number one in our grade school class , but on the grade school athletic teams he took the tough jobs. He played center and middle line backer on the football team and was catcher on the baseball team. His grit and determination were almost legendary even then. Charlie and I went our separate ways after junior high school year when I moved to Cleveland. Although he attended Holy Cross and I went to Notre Dame, we saw each other on occasion when I would visit the law school or attend ND college reunions. The accolades he receives are well deserved. I write because I want those who did not know him in the early years that even from age 6 to 16 he was a leader in every way. I send prayers and condolences to his family.
John Dilenschneider
March 1, 2015
Professor Rice was a role model in so many ways. I knew him as a teacher when he taught my classes in Torts and Con Law in 1973-74. He was a legend in his own time even then: tough yet fair; gentle humor coupled with a rapier wit when needed; and true care for his students. May he rest in peace. Jim Lyons '76 (Irving, Texas)
March 1, 2015
I was in awe of Dr. Charlie Rice, he was commanding, passionate, compassionate, and caring with a towering intellect which was never arrogant or condescending. From the boxing room to the law school classroom, Charlie shared the best of himself to anyone who needed help. I was one of the thousands of students who he helped. God bless Charlie Rice, I know you have reached your ultimate goal.
March 1, 2015
A great teacher and an inspiration to all ND Law students that were fortunate to have taken one of his classes. RIP Professor Rice.
James Ellis
March 1, 2015
Every Marian student will always remember his "character building exercise". He was a great man. My thoughts and prayers are with you all
Pat McKelvey
February 28, 2015
My love and prayers go out to the family of Dr. Rice. My family will keep Dr. Rice and you his family in our daily rosary. He was a very special mentor to me and I will always cherish the sage advise he gave me when I needed it most.
Patrick Harris
February 28, 2015
Prof.Rice was a great man that Mary Kay Clark from Seton home schooling referred me to....there was a few times he gave me time and attention to needs of my family...God bless his memory and his family and may he rest in peace...Angela Sturm HCC graduate 2010 and NDWLC member currently.
Angela Sturm
February 28, 2015
Charlie was a hero to me, personally and professionally. What a life!
John Maciejczyk
February 28, 2015
Charlie Rice was a tower of strength in the RTL movement and will be greatly missed. A man's man, this Irish-Catholic ex Marine, brilliant, principled, faith-filled, fearless, energetic, effective, good-natured, likeable, humorous, is a model for all young men to follow. If each parish in America were blessed with a Charlie Rice in its congregation, this would be a totally different country. One of my greatest privileges is to have known this remarkable man. My deepest condolences to his wife and family. Charlie Rice.....RIP.
David Sponseller
February 28, 2015
Blessed are we who knew Professor Rice as a cherished friend and spiritual adviser. He was a saint among us. May God continue to bless us with the presence of his beloved wife Mary.
Nancy and Bill Zloch
February 28, 2015
My deepest sympathy to the entire Rice family. May God grant you true comfort and peace. Professor Rice was a great man and the world is poorer for his loss. He taught me Torts, Con Law and Jurisprudence at Notre Dame Law School. Professor Rice had a lasting impact on my life. My parents taught me my values, and gave me the gift of Catholicism. Professor Rice helped me calibrate my moral compass, and years after NDLS, I still think of him frequently. We were blessed to know him. Prayers are with you!
Mary Walter
February 28, 2015
Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.
Richard & Alison & Haylee Abbott
February 28, 2015
Thank you for your sound advice and constant good example. Prayers for your and your family, from me and mine.
Ed Peters
February 28, 2015
Professor Rice was a great man. His devotion to faith and family was an inspiration to all those who knew him.

Professor Rice,

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
William Zloch, Jr.
February 28, 2015
Wish I would have known him!!! What a great Catholic guy!!!
February 28, 2015
I just found a picture of Dr. Rice and I at a conference when he was the 2010 Keynote speaker for the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. This was the caption I wrote under the picture.......
"I have been among some truly famous great faithful Catholic thinkers, philosophers, theologians!! This is a picture of me with the Key note speaker Dr. Charles Rice professor emeritus at Notre Dame School of Law. He gave the most stunning talk about teaching the truth of Christ as Catholic educators. I feel so blessed to be here!"......... I lift up his family and friends and I know that there is a celebration in heaven..( he's probably got them all spellbound with a prayerful lecture topic ☺. ) if the family would like me to send them the picture, let me know; I would be glad to. My email is God Bless. Dr. Suzanne Carpenter, retired Nursing Professor
Dr. Suzanne Carpenter
February 27, 2015
The "Coach" was a lifelong friend and inspiration and will be greatly missed by those who knew him. RIP. My condolences to all of the Rice Family.
Bob Mohan
February 27, 2015
Professor Rice -- a NDLS institution. How much I owe to him and his family for their support to a Marine going to law school years out of college. A brilliant man, with a great sense of humor and a ready wit and smile. He was just so HAPPY. I owe him so much, and am so sorry I let so long pass between calls -- I did not even know he was ill. Our prayers are with the Rice family. Margaret Ryan and Michael Collins NDLS 95
Margaret Ryan
February 27, 2015
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Mr. & Mrs Fred Baker
February 27, 2015
I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Rice taught my religion class at Marian HS and I enjoyed both him and the class very much.
Lisa Nicolini McCann Marian HS class of 1979
February 27, 2015
Aloysius Hogan
At Notre Dame Law School, Prof. Rice was instrumental in developing my political philosophy, to which I have dedicated my career. Prof. Rice and my father James Anthony Hogan were two of a kind and classmates at the College of the Holy Cross.
James Aloysius Hogan
February 27, 2015
I credit Prof. Rice for helping me through law school, and for good advice and counsel thereafter. He was the only one on campus who called me Jack.
He was a model Christian gentleman and will be greatly missed. I will offer a Mass for him at Saint Andre Bessette Parish in downtown Portland, OR. God rest his good and noble soul.
Rev. John Patrick Riley, CSC
February 27, 2015
My thoughts & prayers are with all of the Rice family.
Lisa Haskel
February 27, 2015
I will never forget being in Dr. Rice's classroom; Being so young I only wish I could have appreciated it more and learned more from Dr. Rice.

Jim Kowalski, Marian HS, class of 1978
February 27, 2015
Professor Rice was a class act; our prayers are with the Rice family.

John & Analyn Bannon (Philiadelphia,PA)
February 27, 2015
God bless the Rice family. I owed him a letter for all of his kindness and leadership. He was a gentleman, scholar, and friend. Leon Geyer Blacksburg, Virginia
February 27, 2015
Sorry for your loss. Dr. Rice was my religion teacher at Marian High School. I enjoyed reading his commentary and articles in many ND publications. He was always true to his Catholic Faith. Thoughts and Prayers are with your family.
Angela Kindig
February 27, 2015
I am so sorry to hear of his passing. Prof Rice was always so kind to me. His advice helped get me through more than one tough course, and I fondly remember dining at your table.

He will definitely be missed.
Robert McMonagle
February 27, 2015
Prof. Rice - what a great human being. There are not enough superlatives to describe him. He was the best in every way. We send our love and sympathies to his whole family. God love you, Charlie Rice. The world will miss you. Sheila O'Brien ND '77 '80L
Sheila O'Brien
February 27, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rice family. What a tremendous life and legacy. Charlie Rice will be greatly missed. With love, Joseph, Michelle, Emma, Clare, Kate, William, Nora and John Shannon
Joseph Shannon
February 27, 2015
Professor Rice was an inspiration to all of us at ND Law School, his classes were fun and always thought provoking. He leaves a legacy in all of us who were so lucky to have him as our professor.

Aloha Professor Rice
Cori Ching Weston
February 27, 2015
Charlie's impact on so many of us has made a lasting difference in all of our lives. He was an inspiration and a shining example of what each of us should aspire to be. His loving family is in our prayers.
Mike Curreri
February 27, 2015
Prof. Rice was a good man. He was passionate and he cared about his students. I am a better lawyer and person for having known him.
Paul Carlson
February 27, 2015
A great, great man. The nation, if it weren't already in enough trouble, will sorely miss him.
Craig Ladwig
February 27, 2015
I was blessed to have studied under Prof. Rice. I vividly recall his intelligence, attention to detail, and wit. Most noteworthy, however, was his devotion to God and family. His courage in speaking out for right inspired many. My condolences to his family. Thank you good and faithful servant.
Walt Zukowski
February 27, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Rice Family. God Bless
Phil & Wendy Sarvari
February 27, 2015
What an outstanding man. A true example to everyone he came in contact with. Best classes I ever had ND Law School were those taught by Professor Rice. God bless the Rice family.
Matt Klein
February 27, 2015
God Bless Charlie and Mary and the entire Rice family. Thank you for sharing Charlie with us. With love and very highest regards from Brian, Tonya, Riley, Katie, Molly, Maggie, Teresa,Jack and Karen Pummill.
Brian Pummill
February 27, 2015
Thank you, Ellen, for your beautiful memories of your father. I have so many of my own going back to the "Basics of Catholicism" in the 80s and of parties at Bruce's house. You have such a proud heritage. May he rest in peace
Alice Osberger
February 27, 2015
As we mourn here on Earth, be peaceful in knowing he is with The Father. Charles was always a smiling face we, at SJRMC Valet, could always look forward to as he would attend mass. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Valet Team SJRMC
February 27, 2015
God Bless Charlie and Mary and the entire Rice family. Thank you for sharing Charlie with us. With love and very highest regards rom Brian, Tonya, Riley, Katie, Molly, Maggie, Teresa,Jack and Karen Pummill.
Brian Pummill
February 27, 2015
So very sorry to hear of your Dear father's home going. He will be missed greatly I'm sure. I am praying that you will have the Peace that passes understanding from our Heavenly Father at this time. Much love Charlie,
Luella Jensen
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