NORMAN — Neil Rice, 57, of Norman, passed away Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Norman, after a long struggle with cancer. He was born July 19, 1955, to Robert and Augusta Rice in Jersey City, N.J.
Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the Primrose chapel in Norman. Inurnment of ashes will be scheduled for the week of Jan. 7 at Ft. Sill National Cemetery in Elgin.
His love of life and family led him to a distinguished life of service in the United States Air Force. He was a proud member of the 6th Military Airlift Squadron at McGuire AFB from 1978 to 1988, serving with the “Bully Beef Express.” His next duty station brought him to the Altus AFB, where — from 1988 to 1995 — he was a member of the 57th Airlift Squadron with his beloved C141 Starlifter. He did his country proud by serving in Desert Storm. He retired as a MSGT in 1995 after 22 years of distinguished service. To truly be a better man for his family, he continued his education, receiving his associate’s degree in applied science at WOSC in Altus and his Bachelor of Science at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1993. In 1995, Neil went to work for Atlas Air, based out of New York, but continued to call Oklahoma home. He was an amazing flight engineer until February 2012, when he decided to make the time to do what he loved the most, flying and being a family man. He obtained his pilot’s license in 2002.
Neil is survived by his best friend and loving wife, Hui Ok Rice of 36 years; his four children, Christine Ashmore of Oklahoma City, Teri Rice of Oklahoma City, David Rice of Norman and Jaclyn Cornelius of Norman; two grandchildren, Theresa and Andrew; and two sisters, Teri Rubertone and Nancy Stiehler.
The family would like to express their deepest thanks to his friends and family for the support he received in his battle with cancer. Your prayers have lightened our sadness and pain.
Services have been entrusted to the care of Primrose Funeral Service.
To send condolences, visit primrosefuneralservice.com.
Norman Transcript, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013