Thomas Rice was a soldier of the cross who recently laid down his sword to move closer to his crown. He passed from this earth on April 25, after battling Lewy Body disease for several years.
Thomas was born on March 29, 1931 just off Railroad Bed Road on what is now Mt. Vernon Estates. He was the eighth of nine children who was born to Hooper and Mary Hunter Rice. He graduated from MJ High School. Later in life he also graduated from Nashville School of Preaching. A third school he attended was Radio Operator School.
In the early 1950’s Thomas joined the armed forces as a paratrooper in the infantry. He fought throughout the battle of Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War. He was blessed to survive it in spite of the high casualties around him. He fulfilled his responsibilities after two years, a month, and 13 days. He was glad to return to Mt. Juliet. He lived in Mt. Juliet or the surrounding areas for most of the rest of his life. He worked for a while with Western Electric working with phone lines. For a time he managed Green Hill Market and later owned a store in Nashville. Once he gave up drinking he made some major changes in his life. He read his Bible every day instead of drinking and he sold the store because it sold beer. From there he worked for a publisher. Since he enjoyed reading this was most likely a job he enjoyed. He did love to read. His library was extensive. His time of reading was more like studying. He would make notes in books as he read. For example, he owned 50 Bibles and all of them had his underlining and notations, as well as most books he owned. He also enjoyed researching his genealogy, coffee at Regions bank, lunch at Ryan’s, and being at home. In 2007 Thomas was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease. In 2008 he was moved from his house on Sunset Drive to an assisted living facility.
Thomas will be missed. He was frank and candid. He enjoyed a good laugh. He was a thoughtful neighbor. He was a brother that persisted. He was a man of honor who was patriotic. Most importantly, he was a child of God. Thomas knew his Bible well, contributing to class and biblical conversations whenever opportunity was afforded. As his health deteriorated he was blessed that Monica Rice, his nephew’s wife, who is a nurse, was willing to provide continual care for him. To all the family we extend our sympathy and prayers.