It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of MWO (ret) Albert Garfield Rice, aged 75, on Thursday July 15th, 2021. He passed quickly and peacefully with love at his side. Born to the late Albert and Irene Rice on June 26th, 1946, Albie lived the last five years at home in Cape Breton surrounded to his delight by family and the love of his life, Vonda. Humble and caring, he spent 36 years in dedicated service to his country and fellow soldiers as a proud member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, supporting his family and the troops in his charge – a steadfast helping hand to those in need with an open heart. There are many in the armour and aviation community from coast to coast that will fondly remember him with stories that mix stern advice with a playful sense of humour and a rare depth of compassion that changed the lives of everyone he met. In his later years Albie moved up North to Inuvik, NT, where his down to earth approach and love for life grew to touch many in the close knit community, resulting in life long friendships. One of the greatest campfire story tellers of all time, borne as a scouting and outdoor enthusiast, he was forever involved through scouts, municipal government, and sports – himself once a member of the CF Men’s National Fastball Team, teammate to many in the ranks of Old Timer’s hockey, and later on a basketball league founder and coach.
Though having such a moving impact as a caring and devoted member of every community in which he lived or worked, Albie’s greatest passion of all was family. He adored both his and Vonda’s grandchildren and deeply loved his children no matter the space between them. In Albie, Vonda’s three sons found the loving, caring, and teasing father figure they needed. His personality, openness, and love for family gave him a unique ability to see the big picture when it came to difficult times which served to help bond together Vonda and her siblings Judy Porter (Wayne), Varlene, and Tony Eaton (Shelley). A thoughtful and kind man, his greatest joy was sharing time together laughing and reminiscing while teasing the latest batch of grandkids with a tall tale. From hitchhiking across the country to be home for Christmas as a young Corporal, to taking his kids over Kelly’s Mountain for weekend visits, he was proud to be a coal miner’s son and even more proud to be a Cape Bretoner. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Albie always kept home close to his heart, and home is where he’ll always be.
Albert is survived by his loving wife, Vonda (nee Read), his three children Jim (Joanne), Nancy (Marc), and Andrew (Christine), his three step-children Jonathan (Sue), Jason (Caroline), and Derek (Jaimie), and seventeen grandchildren. He is also survived by his eight brothers and sisters, all of whom he loved and cherished, James “Bud” (Sandra), Walter (Colleen), Lily Tomanek (Rick), Diane MacPherson, Ester Woods (Steve), Gale Williams (Roy), Rubyann Filion (Denis), and Darlene Haggett (Steve).
Besides his parents Albie was predeceased by a granddaughter, Jenna.
Thank you to all the staff at both the Halifax Infirmary and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital for their care and efforts.
Visitation for Albert Rice will take place on Friday, August 13, 2021, from 7-9 pm in J.M. Jobes Funeral Home, Main St., Sydney Mines. The funeral service will take place Saturday at 2 pm at the Northside Baptist Church at 1178 Main St, Sydney Mines, with Pastor Jason Homan presiding. A celebration of life will be held at the church following services and all are welcome.
Take me when I am home Lord,
For there is no sweeter place to be;
Love me as I have loved Lord,
Let me be met there by family.
Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at www.jmjobesfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers donations to the Harbour View Veterans Wing of the Harbour View Hospital, Sydney Mines would be appreciated.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Albert Garfield Rice, please visit our floral store.