Township mourns long-time firefighter

FLINT TWP. — Randy Rice, a longtime on-call firefighter, was honored by a moment of silence in his memory at the township board meeting Monday night.

Rice, 72, died Feb. 27 and his funeral service was attended on Monday by many township employees.

Rice served the fire department for 42 years, said Fire Chief John Ringwelski, in his comments before the silent tribute.

Rice held a high attendance record for responding to alarms, Ringwelski said.

He also noted that Rice seldom missed trainings and probably attended more than 800 during his career.

“He was the kind of person, if he was not there, someone would ask, ‘Where is Randy?’ “ Ringwelski said.

Rice also was remembered for his dedication to the Great Lakes Burn Camp in Jackson which is a special camp for child burn victims. It gives them a place to go to play freely and support and bond with other children bearing minor to severe scars from burn injuries, Ringwelski said.

Rice also was a 30-year General Motors retiree and served 27 years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Sgt. Major.

Several area fire departments were represented in Rice’s funeral procession from Swartz Funeral Home in Grand Blanc to Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Ringwelski said.

Supervisor Karyn Miller, who attended the services, noted that it was a standing-room-only crowd who came to pay their last respects to Rice. That included almost the entire township fire department, people who worked with Rice at GM, representatives from the VFW post, firefighters from around the state and Rice’s family, she said.

Rice received a Military Service under the auspices of VFW Post #822 Honor Guard.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years Pat; his children, Scott (Kathy) of Bath and Kimberly Halstead of Harrison; seven grandchildren, five great grandchildren and other family members.

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