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Wesley F. Rice

senior staff embalmer at Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, Milford, Michigan, died October 30, 2011, at age 90. Rice joined the U.S. Navy in 1939 and served as a Navy corpsman with the U.S. Marines in the South Pacific for the duration of World War II. By the end of his service, he was part of the nursing staff of Liberty ships, ferrying the wounded between Hawaii and San Diego. After his honorable discharge in October 1945, Rice returned home to a job as a mortuary apprentice at Farley Funeral Home (Battle Creek). He attended mortuary school at Wayne State University, graduating in 1949 and working for Knickerbocker-Bates Funeral Home (Jackson). In his 62 years in Michigan funeral service, he worked at Savages (Standish), Estes-Ledley (Lansing and Holt), Foglesong’s (Sturgis) and Pomeroy’s (Crosswell) funeral homes before moving to Milford in 1972 and working for Lynch & Sons for the remainder of his career. He regarded the care of the dead and their families as a ministry and never really retired. He returned to call on young funeral directors and apprentices as a mentor and friend, providing professional advice and personal guidance.

He is survived by wife Betty, sons Kurt and Ken, daughter Kathy, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.