ORONO – Kenneth Rice died peacefully and well cared for Oct. 4, 2012, at Dirigo Pines Retirement Community, Orono, where he lived for the past three years. Ken was born July 22, 1920, on the family farm in East Rindge, N.H., to Ruth (Prescott) and Harold Hamilton Rice.
Ken grew up with rural New England values that stayed for a lifetime. He skied Tuckerman’s Ravine and rode his Indian motorcycle, and attended Murdock High School, Winchendon, Mass., and Wentworth Institute, Boston. When World War II called, Ken volunteered in the Army Air Corps and flew 49 missions over Europe as a waist gunner in a B-17. Ken’s good luck piece was a piece of flack that came through the fuselage, hit his leather jacket and fell to the deck. He bent over, picked it up and put it in his pocket. After the war Ken returned to Boston, where he met and married the love of his life, Arletta Thorpe of Christmas Cove. They spent the next 26 years in Townsend, Mass., where they raised two children, Mark and Becky. He worked as a business machine mechanic at Fort Devens, Mass., and Arletta taught English at Spaulding Elementary. Upon their retirement they moved to Christmas Cove and spent winters in Jekyll Island, Ga. They remained very active, enjoying their grandchildren, playing tennis and traveling. When life became slower, they moved to Avalon Village, Hampden, where Ken took unshakable care of Arletta. She passed in 2005 and Ken moved to Dirigo Pines several years later. Ken leaves behind a strong living legacy.
He is survived by his son, Mark Rice and wife, Kym, of Brinklow, Md.; daughter, Becky and sidekick, Jimmy Barnes, of Mariaville; five grandchildren, Stacey, Claire, Ben, Jake and Ike; and four great-grandchildren. Ken will always be remembered by family and friends as a true gentleman. Thanks, Dad “Pa” for all you gave us.