William “Bill” James Rice, Jr.

William “Bill” James Rice, Jr., age 72 of Cleveland, Texas passed away Monday, August 30, 2021. He was born July 21, 1949 in Jersey City, New Jersey to parents Katherine and William James Rice, Sr. who preceded him in death along with his sister, Anne (Nancy) Hayes; and brother, Dave Rice.

Bill was a loving husband to Chuy for 26 years and a devoted father to his three boys. He was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and the family moved to Pompton Lakes, where he graduated and played football at Pompton Lakes High School. After graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

Returning to his maternal roots, he spent many years in Louisiana where he became a self made carpenter building houses and working at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.

Bill settled in Coldspring, Texas honing his craftsmanship to create a successful business installing windows and doors. He took pride in teaching his sons the business. His company was one of the best and the demand took them all over Texas and Louisiana. He was well respected by many.

Chuy, who was the love of his life entered his world and completely fulfilled him and he became an adoring husband and admirable father and family man.

Bill showed a great love for his family, offering friendship, guidance and wisdom. He was always available and took time to be a listening ear and showing compassion. He also loved sharing fond family memories.

He loved to travel abroad and deeply enjoyed family vacations, such as, Montana snow trip, New York City, New Braunfels, Mexico, Walt Disney and numerous trips from New Jersey to Louisiana.

Bill also had a passion for sports, favoring the Texans, Astros, Yankees and Rockets. He spent many weekends watching the games.

Bill was a small man by statute but a gentle giant with broad shoulders. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. It was an honor to have known him and we are left with a huge hole in our hearts. He will be greatly missed and loved forever.

Survivors include his wife, Chuy Rice; sons, Jorge and wife Rosario, Alberto and wife Jelen, and Paul; sisters, Mary Pat Berndt, Eileen Winters and husband Jim; brother, John (Tim) Rice; and grandchildren, Katherine, Kevin, and Kayle; along with numerous other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at Pace Stancil Chapel, Cleveland, Texas with services starting at 4:00 p.m.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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