William David Rice Sr.
William David Rice, Sr.

Wilmington - William David Rice, Sr., age 74, passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 23, 2021.

He was born in Wilmington and was the son of the late William and Verna Rice. David graduated from Conrad HS in 1966.

After high school he proudly enlisted in the US Army during the Vietnam War serving over 11 years. He survived the TET Offensive and amongst many accolades he received the Bronze Star. While in the service, David wrote a letter to Dear Abby asking her readers to write letters to the many lonely soldiers. It was because of his desire to bring some comfort from home that, even today, we are all able to send letters and care packages to service members actively deployed.

David lived to serve others. After he was discharged from the Army, he worked at the Wilmington VA until his retirement. David worked closely with Charles Parks to design the Vietnam Memorial that stands in Wilmington. He also served as director for Firebase Elsmere to ensure POW/MIA servicemembers are never forgotten.

For a few years, David relocated to Nashville, TN to be closer to the music he always loved. He served at Nashville Cares to raise awareness for AIDS and support HIV/AIDS patients.

David is preceded in death by numerous siblings, survived by Evelyn Casey, Melvin Jones (Becky). He leaves behind his children William D. Rice, Jr (Rebecca), Mary V. Ignudo (Paul) and Sarah Roseanne Mott (Christopher) and 10 grandchildren.

In lieu of, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.

Due to covid restrictions, services and burial will be held privately at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery with military honors.

For online condolences and copy of the Dear Abby letter visit: www.mccreryandharra.com

Published by The News Journal from Apr. 29 to May 2, 2021.
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Dave and I were cousins and were close friends growing up. We stayed in touch over the years and I know how much his illness got him down. He was proud of his service and we were proud of him. He was a caring and helpful guy and I will never forget him. Rest in peace, Dave.
Sam Connor
May 1, 2021
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