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Gordon J. Rice
Born September 30, 1931, in Findlay Township, Allegheny County, PA, he was the son of Anna and Gordon J. Rice Sr.
A resident of Clarion since age 5, Gordon attended Immaculate Conception School through 12th grade. Sure that he would join his father’s International Harvester Dealership, he completed business courses at several universities including Penn State, Pitt, and Clarion as well as an International Harvester Training College in Georgia. He took sole ownership of Rice Equipment in 1970 shortly after his father’s death. Gordon sold the business in 1986 but rather than retire he decided to pursue a new line of work.
He began selling obsolete tractor parts under a new business name, Antique International Tractor Parts, and it ran from 1987 until 2011. The day before his 80th birthday, Gordon passed the business on to his nephew and son. For the last seven years, he kept busy selling collectibles on eBay. Gordon’s hobbies included playing cards, racquetball, and traveling, especially by train.
Gordon’s life in Clarion County included years of active community involvement. His legacy starts with 21 years as a member of the Lions Club, as well as membership in the Jaycees for 16 years. Gordon also served as Autumn Leaf Festival Parade Marshall for 20 years beginning in 1958. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State Farm and Power Equipment Association board for 16 years.
Gordon joined the Catholic Knights of St. George in the 1950s, and eventually, this group was converted into the William Penn Association for which he was vice-president for Clarion Branch 114. He joined the Clarion Knights of Columbus when Immaculate Conception Church received a charter and remained an active knight for 60 years reaching the 4th degree. He was a member of the Clarion IC Cemetery board of directors for 49 years and served as board president for 21 years.
Gordon also served on the board on the Clarion Chamber of Commerce and Business for seven years and acted as president from 1976-77.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dorothy Reinsel Rice, as well as his three daughters: Sherrie (Brad) Smith of Franklin, WI, Mary Jean (Nick) Bagileo of Laurel, MD and Kathleen (Rob) McElravy of Shippenville as well as 13 grandchildren. They include Gregory, Ian, Meghan, Jacob, Keyne, Natalie and Emily Rice; Maggie Swingle; Anthony, Bridget, and Maximilian Bagileo; and Clayton and Milton McElravy. He was also blessed with six great-grandchildren. Also surviving is his brother Rev. William Rice of Fryburg, PA, and sisters Jeanne (Fran) Paff of Newburgh, NY, and Arlene Speerbrecher of Sagamore Hills, OH. He is also survived by two daughters-in-law, Janet Rice, of Lakeville, PA, and Bonnie Rice, of Clarion.
Gordon was preceded in death by his daughter Karen, and sons Joseph and William.
Arrangements are under the care of the Goble Funeral Home & Crematory, 330 Wood Street in Clarion, where visitation will be held on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A Christian wake service will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday at the Immaculate Conception Church with Father Monty Sayers officiating. Interment will follow in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Clarion County YMCA or the Immaculate Conception School.
Friends and family may send online condolences and obtain additional information by visiting www.goblefh.net.
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