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Thursday, June 13, 2019
Starts at 10:30am (Central time)
LeRoy Rice, 74, of Devils Lake, ND passed away peacefully on Saturday June 8, 2019 at the Heartland Care Center, Devils Lake.
Funeral Services for LeRoy will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, ND with Reverend Tom Westcott officiating. Burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery, rural Minnewaukan, ND.
LeRoy Harold Rice, oldest son of Arthur and Irene (Anderson) Rice, was born on September 21st, 1944 in Cando, ND. He was raised on the family farm and attended the Esmond Public School. While growing up, he helped on the family farm and with his dad’s construction company. When he was 13, he was thrilled to become a big brother to, Arthur Lee and give up his only child status.
LeRoy earned his associate degree at Lake Region Junior College and his undergraduate degree in Industrial Arts Education from Ellendale State Teachers College. He completed his education with a masters degree in Industrial Technology from the University of North Dakota.
He met his wife, Diane (Tarang) while attending Lake Region Junior College. They married on June 3, 1968, in a country church in Brinsmade, ND. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Oslo, MN where they both taught for five years. In 1973, they moved to Devils Lake, ND where they raised their three kids.
LeRoy taught graphic arts, robotics and shop class at the Vocational Technical Center and for Devils Lake Public schools. His laid-back demeanor, bad jokes and love of industrial technology made him a favorite teacher of many students. Not many shop teachers retire with all ten fingers, but Mr. Rice did.
Never one to ever be idle, LeRoy also was an entrepreneur. He enjoyed carpentry work and formed Rice Building and Remodeling where his handy work can be seen in and around the Lake Region. In 1979, along with close friends and family, he started the weekly news shopper, the Dakota Peddler. He was also part owner in the Pizza Factory and apartment buildings. During the summers, he enjoyed crop adjusting. He loved getting out into the fields, talking to farmers and working with his friends.
LeRoy was a member of the Sons of Norway, Kiwanis, Lake Region Woodcarvers, past president of the Devils Lake American Diabetes Association and the Esmond Eagles Alumni Association.
His favorite job of all, though, was being a grandpa. He loved spoiling his grandkids any chance he could get. When giving out tractor rides, it was difficult to tell who had a bigger smile on their face – Grandpa or the grandkids.
He also relished getting a good deal (Menards rebates and Harbor Freight coupons were his kryptonite). His kids have more tape measures than they know what to do with. He also never said no to ice cream, sausage and sauerkraut or German potato salad. Upon taking a DNA test, he learned that he was 95% Scandinavian, which helped explain his love of lutefisk.
Above all, LeRoy was a fighter. He battled many health issues throughout his life, yet he never let them stop him from living his life. When asked how he was doing, he always said, “Not worth a darn (actually he used another word), but thanks for asking.” Through it all, his wife was faithfully by his side.
LeRoy is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Diane of Devils Lake; children Kathryn (John) Clemenson of Brandon, SD, Todd Rice of Warner Robins, GA, and Susan (Gary) Stockert of Bismarck, ND; grandchildren Brianna (fiance Spencer Marty) and Ben Clemenson, Chase, Leah and Cole Stockert; his brother Arthur Lee (Cynthia) Rice of Grand Forks, ND; niece Rachel Rice and great niece Serenity; in-laws Judy (David) Anderson, Larry (Jill) Tarang and Thomas Tarang all of Leeds.
He was preceded in death by his parents Art and Irene Rice; brother-in-law John Tarang; in-laws Wallace and Helen Tarang.