Ronald Philip Rice, 81, of Wiley Creek Community Center, Sweet Home, died June 25, 2020. He was born December 10,1938 in Salem to Warren C. “Puff" Rice and Mae (Bailey) Rice.
Ron graduated from Cottage Grove High School in 1956 where he excelled at baseball and basketball. He continued to play both sports in city leagues until he moved to Australia in 1963. He also enjoyed watching basketball, playing tennis, fishing and all types of card games.
He married Ardyce Riddle in 1956 and they later divorced in the 1980s.
Ron began his working life in the local mill. In his early years he was a milk delivery driver and he worked for Ozzy Shaw as a surveyor's assistant.
In 1963, Ron moved his family to Australia where he first worked on the railroad in Brisbane and later owned and operated a small grocery store/gas station called the "Golden Fleece Station” in the small town of Benaraby, Queensland.
In the early 1970’s the family moved to Sweet Home where Ron worked for different lumber/plywood mills. He also worked at mills in Ketchikan, Alaska and Cottage Grove.
Mr. Rice is survived by the mother of his children, Ardyce Wallace; six children: Ken Rice and daughter-in-law Janet, Jim Rice and daughter-in-law Trina, Karla Burcham, Doreen Chaput and son-in-law Dave, Jake Rice and daughter-in-law Stephanie, Ronda Denver and son-in-law Greg; 16 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and his brother, Robert Rice.
He was preceded in death by his sister Christine Buell (Rice) 2016, his mother Mae Rice (1976) and his father Warren Rice (1974).
Burial took place at Finley Cemetery in Crawfordsville.
Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.