We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Vista Chapel
Worcester native and Californian-ever-after Brian Andrew Rice died Saturday, 9/11/21 from a sudden and devastating stroke surrounded by family and his partner Astrid Haenebalcke. He was 50 years old.
Brian was a fiercely independent adventurer and entrepreneur who was an expert in developing & manufacturing products and then figured out how to get them from point A to point B across the globe. He was born in Tatnuck Square to Maureen A. (Rice, Lynch) Lockman and the late James F. Rice and graduated from St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury. Mr. Rice earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was the president of the UMass Ski Club, and he was scheduled to graduate in 2022 with a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the Quantic School of Business and Technology. Brian had a do-anything and entrepreneurial spirit that initially led him to northern California first as an EMT and then into a successful international career in the scuba dive and water sports industry. He led the design and development of new and innovative products and oversaw large-scale textile manufacturing operations in Thailand and Mexico. Having spent significant time overseas, he was part of a vibrant ex-pat community, particularly in Southeast Asia. More recently, Brian imported decommissioned military Land Rovers from Asia, restored them to pristine condition himself, and sold them to specialty collectors.
Above all else, Mr. Rice was a dedicated, loving father. His daughter, Lily Rose (9), and his son Henry James (3) were his driving force. When Lily was born, Brian stepped away from his career to be a full-time dad with Lily and later with Henry at his home of South Oceanside, CA in the county of San Diego. He spent countless hours travelling, skiing, surfing, and just hanging out with his children. He was proud of them in every way.
Brian was known for being “a little bit magical.” He was always there with tickets, a coupon, a t-shirt, an alternative route, sneakers...that fit, a round of drinks, access to a hidden door, a tee time...you get the picture. What seemed like magic was really his genuine concern for others, attention to every detail, and his willingness to do for others in a way that was rare made his seemingly effortless gestures present like magic. Mr. Rice ran marathons, twice competed in Ironman triathlon competitions, including the world championships in Kona, Hawaii, won the Oldtimers Longboard Championship in Wellfleet, Cape Cod (twice), ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, travelled around the world, went scuba diving in the most beautiful locations, skied the best mountains, and was devoted to his family and friends.
Mr. Rice is survived by his son and his partner, his daughter, as well as his beloved mother and stepfather Thomas Lockman of Worcester, MA. His three siblings will miss their magical brother: James A. Rice and wife Katie of Oceanside, CA; Deirdre Carlson and husband Kurt of Auburn, MA, and Juli Rice of Jamaica Plain, MA. He leaves his adored nieces and nephews: Gryphn, Gunar, and Emerson Allen; and Conor and Shayleigh Carlson, as well as many close, devoted cousins and lifelong friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made in Brian’s name to the American Stroke Association. A memorial service will be held at a later date.