Cover photo for Vernon Perry Rice's Obituary
Vernon Perry Rice Profile Photo
1935 Vernon 2020

Vernon Perry Rice

October 5, 1935 — November 16, 2020

Vernon “Vern” Perry Rice - 85

He lived a full life, working hard to be of service to everyone.

Vernon was born October 5, 1935, in Rhinelander, Orida, Wisconsin, to Lyle Edminster Rice and Evelyn Erna Dutcher. He had two brothers, Gerald Rice and Orval Rice, and one sister, Sharlene Rice Deniro Anderson. He died on November 16, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He married the love of his life, Mary Dawn Broderick, on May 15, 1958, in the Salt Lake Temple. Together they are the parents of 6 children: LaDawn Rice Zwahlen, Larane Rice, Larae Rice, LaVern Rice, Jerald Vernon Rice and Lyle Hillard Rice. They have 15 grandchildren, all of whom were influenced by the positive examples set by their grandpa: Jon Zwahlen, Albert Zwahlen, Blake Rayl, Brad Zwahlen, Tim Zwahlen, Melissa Zwahlen West, Artumus (Arty) Esplin, Michael Zwahlen, Logan Esplin, Amy Zwahlen, Ashley Zwahlen, Adam Zwahlen, Jody Zwahlen and Hans Zwahlen; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Vernon served for a time as a mechanic in the Army. He loved trains and was able to work for the railroad for a career, true to his hard-working nature he also had a second job as a backhoe operator for Manwell Plumbing. Vernon was a very skilled mechanic and handyman and could fix almost anything and did, both as a profession and as a way he could serve others. He enjoyed traveling, boating, and water-skiing and wanted to share these passions with his family and friends as often as possible; many of his memorable stories involve these two activities. He loved cars and his knowledge and enthusiasm have been passed on to many of his grandchildren who love to drive and travel as well as a healthy sense of taking good care of those cars. Many of them have very fond memories of spending time with grandpa in the garage and learning how cars work and how to maintain and repair them. Between his travels and his time as a professional truck driver he saw most of this country. He had a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) was able to work driving an 18 wheeler semi-truck until a few months before he died and was independent until the day before his death.

Vernon was a lifetime member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served his entire life, including a full time mission.

Vernon was very devoted to his family and would do anything for them. He was always there for them no matter what the personal cost to him. Everyone knew that Grandpa Rice would be there for them no matter what.

Vernon was a friend to everyone, and he was usually able to find old friends or make new friends everywhere he went.

A private viewing and funeral services will be held in light of current health concerns.

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