The Reverend Richard Jordan Rice

March 19, 1933 ~ October 6, 2020 (age 87)


The Reverend Richard Jordan Rice died on October 6, 2020, at the home he shared with his wife, Nancy, in Interlaken, N.Y.

He was born March 19, 1933, in Flushing, N.Y., the son of George Byron Rice and Thelma Aline (Jordan) Rice. He graduated from Drew University in 1954, from the Drew Theological School in 1958, and from the New York Theological Seminary in 1973. As a seminarian he served as student pastor at the Gaylordsville Methodist Church (UMC) in Gaylordsville, Conn., and Beech Methodist Church in Westhampton, N.Y. After being appointed an ordained elder in 1959, he served as pastor at Grace Methodist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Stony Brook Community Methodist Church in Stony Brook, N.Y.; St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (UMC) in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and First UMC in Newburgh, N.Y. In 1980 he was appointed Superintendent of the Metropolitan District of the New York Conference of the UMC, and in 1984 he became Associate Executive Director of the United Methodist City Society, a position he held until his retirement in 1999. While at the City Society he oversaw the purchase and renovation of a new facility for Anchor House, a residential drug treatment facility for men and women in Brooklyn, and the renovation of Camp Olmsted, a summer camp for inner-city children and retreat center in Cornwall-On-Hudson, N.Y. After retirement, Mr. Rice served as interim pastor to churches in Trumbull, Conn., Katonah, N.Y., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and New York City. He served as Interim Superintendent of the Long Island East District from 2007-2008. An enthusiastic supporter of church, community, and academic organizations, he was President of the International Network of Biblical Storytellers, President of the Board of Directors of Anchor House, and President of the Drew College Alumni Association. As a Biblical storyteller, he shared the story of Jonah in more than 400 churches across the United States. His avocations included walking, magic, and travel.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy (Booth) Rice; two sons, David Byron Rice (Barbara Beene Smith) and John Burton Rice (Cynthia Ivette Weiss); two daughters, Elin Ruth Dowd (Marcus Bizzell Dowd) and Martha Aline Epstein (Wayne Jay Epstein); and nine grandchildren, Richard (Byron) Rice, Samuel Rice, Aaron Weiss-Rice, Emilee Weiss-Rice, Aidan Weiss-Rice, Jonah Dowd, Emma Dowd, George Phillip Epstein, and Juliana Epstein.

Funeral services and burial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to Anchor House or the United Methodist City Society.

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