February 19, 2020
PHOENIX - Donald Keith Rice, DDS, was born April 14, 1928, to William Henry Rice and Mamie Valpuri (Sissala) Rice. He was the second of four children. He died on Feb. 17, 2020, in Phoenix.
Donald attended school in Bessemer, graduating from A.D. Johnston High School in 1946. He obtained his degree in dentistry from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
He served in the U.S. Navy and while stationed in Maryland, he met and married Frances Barbara Rush in 1952. Together they raised six children: Meilam Rice (Ron Koike), Stephen (Carolyn), Krisanne Rice (Jim Clare), Jennifer (Richard) Dingle, Erika (Daniel) Maurice, and Gordon (Jennifer).
Donald had a dental practice for many years in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. While there, the family purchased a cabin on the shore of Lake Superior which they later winterized and made their year-round home. The family later moved to Vermont where Donald had a dental practice in Stowe and later in Barre. Upon selling that practice, he and Frances moved to Arizona where he practiced until his retirement in Chinle.
In his youth Donald, along with his brother Billy, owned and piloted chartered fishing boats on Lake Superior out of Black River Harbor, creating many fond life-long memories for he and his siblings.
Donald is preceded in death by his parents; brother, William Rice Jr .; granddaughter, Julia Koike; nephew, Byron Rice; brothers-in-law, James Reyerson and David Rush; and sister-in-law, Mardi Drake.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years; his children; 12 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; his sisters, Cynthia (Susie) Reyerson and Sheila (Fred) Hedberg; brother-in-law, Dick Rush; and many nieces and nephews.