March 25, 1931 ~ March 26, 2012
Born in: Buncombe Co.,
Resided in: Candler, NC
George Lewis Rice, 81, of Candler, NC, passed away March 26, 2012, at the John F. Keever Hospice Solace Center. He was a life long resident of Buncombe Co., and grew up in Weaverville, NC. He attended Weaverville High School and was a graduate of Greer College in Chicago, IL. George was a member of New Morgan Hill Baptist Church. He worked for Biltmore Dairies as Chief Engineer for over 20 years and retired from Buncombe County as a Building Inspector. The loves of his life were God first, then his family - wife, Eloise Marie Ray Rice; daughters Sharlene Rice-Franklin and Kimberlea D. Hinzman and husband Scott. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Rev. Jesse Rice and Lucy Tweed Rice. He is also survived by a brother, the Rev. James Rice of Black Mountain; two sisters, Ella Mae Whitted and husband Bill, and Evelyn Vess; and several nieces and nephews. Everyone who knew George adopted him as a dad or uncle. His passion was the preservation of Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel Music, as well as traditional mountain music. He was a founding member of the Mountain Heritage Committee. With the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, he had been a winner in the band and singing division, a judge, and finally as an emcee. In addition he was a favorite performer of the Shindig on the Green and an emcee. He also judged several other events in the WNC area. His singing blessed everyone who heard him with his rare gift of perfect pitch. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 31, 2012, at New Morgan Hill Baptist Church, with the Rev. Roy Houston officiating. Interment will follow at Ashelawn Gardens. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday at New Morgan Hill Baptist Church. Flowers are welcome, or memorials may be made to the New Morgan Hill Building Fund, 370 Lake Dr., Candler, NC 28715. Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave. is assisting the family.