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David W. Rice

November 17, 1957 - November 14, 2019
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David W. Rice, 61, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 14th, surrounded by his loving family. He fought an extraordinarily courageous battle with esophageal cancer.

He was born November 17th, 1957 in Norwalk, Connecticut to William J. Rice Jr. and Maryhelen Rice. He grew up in Wilton, Connecticut and spent most of his younger years outdoors, with his brothers. Alongside his close childhood buddies, he built a world-class tree fort and enjoyed 3-day "picnics” with a huge network of friends.

Dave took great pride in being self-sufficient. His first business was a lawn care service, which consisted of a lawn mower trailered behind his bicycle. At a young age, he worked three jobs and purchased a 1965 pick-up truck prior to even getting his driver’s license. In 1976, he graduated from Wilton High School. He was proud to be the owner/operator of a Peterbilt truck, with which he hauled pool water in the summer and fuel oil in the winter.

Dave married Jane Kelleher in 1985 and moved to Durham, Maine in the summer of 1986.  Together, they enjoyed working tirelessly to create the home and property of their dreams. Dave worked for a local builder and moved on to a 15 year career at Bath Iron Works. All the while, he was also working to build his own carpentry business, Dave Rice Construction. In 2003, he fulfilled a longtime dream and went full-time with his business, utilizing many of the woodworking skills he learned from his dad. He was a very proud individual and would never put his name on anything he didn’t feel was of top quality.

In 1989, he planted his first field of balsam firs, which was the start of his family owned and operated choose and cut Christmas tree farm. It brought him great joy to see growing families return year after year to create cherished memories at Rice Christmas Tree Farm. 

Although very humble, Dave was very successful at anything he set his mind to. He strived for perfection, was an independent thinker, and was also an excellent problem solver. He was always willing to go the extra mile to help someone in need. He strived to instill all of these values in his two daughters, Jessica and Brittany. He was incredibly proud of the independent women they have become.

Throughout his life, Dave enjoyed many outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, camping, and backpacking, all alongside his family. He spent many hours water skiing, especially on Sebec Lake, where he also helped his parents build their family camp. Whenever he had a free moment, he could usually be found in his barn whistling away while creating his next masterpiece. In that same barn, he also hosted many infamous parties. In more recent years, he found great enjoyment working in the woods with his heavy equipment.

He was predeceased by his father, William J. Rice Jr. He is survived by his mother, Maryhelen Rice; wife of 34 years, Jane S. Rice; daughters, Jessica A. (Kyle) Enman and Brittany A. (Alex) Perkins; siblings, William J. (Brooke) Rice III, Jane E. Rice, Michael T. (Patricia) Rice, Timothy J. (Lori) Rice, and Mathew C. (Lori) Rice; many nieces and nephews and a host of long-time friends. He was also looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild, Baby Enman, in April 2020.

A memorial visitation will be held for friends and family on Thursday, November 21st from 4-7pm at Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal Street in Brunswick, Maine. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, November 22nd at 10am at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 132 McKeen Street, Brunswick, Maine with a reception to follow in the parish hall.


In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to:

Friends of Baxter State Park

PO Box 322, Belfast, ME 04915

Memorial condolences may be expressed at