John Rice, 73, passed away June 25, 2020, at MercyOne Hospice in Johnston after a courageous 4 ½ year battle with lung cancer. He was born February 14, 1947, in Centerville, Iowa, to Frank and Doris Jean (Evans) Rice.

John graduated from Centerville High School in 1965 and received his BA from Upper Iowa University. He married Sue Ann Courtney on May 31, 1969, and they recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary.

John was a dedicated soldier and he demonstrated his patriotism to his State and Nation by serving over 38 years in the Iowa Army National Guard. He completed the officer commissioning program at the Iowa Military Academy and was commissioned in the Engineer Branch. Throughout his lengthy military career, he advanced through different levels of Command and Staff assignments to include Commander, Headquarters, State Area Readiness Command. His military education included many qualifying courses in his Engineer branch, Logistics, and leadership to include completion of the United States, Command and General Staff College. His numerous awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, 4th Award, Army Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was breveted to the rank of Colonel at the time of his retirement. During his military membership, John also served the Iowa Guard as a Federal Civil Service employee for over 30 years. His areas of employment included administration, training, and logistics. After completion of his military and Federal technician careers he continued to support the Iowa Guard as a State employee. His responsibilities continued in the logistical field as the State Property Officer accounting for all the State property issued to the Iowa National Guard, a position he retired from in 2016, with over 49 years of dedicated service.

John volunteered countless hours at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum. He enjoyed participating in the Great Iowa Tractor Ride and was proud of his extensive coin collection. John was a supporter of the Iowa Speedway and held tickets to the Daytona 500 for 13 years.

John is survived by his loving wife, Sue Ann, children, Mark Rice and Kelly (Jordan) Harrison, as well as his grandson, Cole Jordan Harrison. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Doris Jean.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Ave. in Des Moines. Graveside services will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum or Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

Online condolences may be expressed at:

Service Details

Tuesday, June 30, 2020
4:00 - 7:00 pm
Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
9:30 am
Graveside Service
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, Iowa
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Adel, Iowa
Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
(515) 289-2442

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