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Melvin 'Skeet' Rice

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Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:00 pm

Melvin "Skeet" George Rice, 74, of Lockeford, died June 8. He was born on March 26, 1934, in Downy.

Mr. Rice was a Sacramento native. He served in the United States Marine Corp during the Korean War as a staff sergeant, teaching electronics on Treasure Island. After graduating from California State University, Sacramento, he held a variety of senior management jobs at a number of corporations including Occidental Petroleum. He traveled extensively for work, spending time in Nigeria, Singapore, Europe and Mexico. Mr. Rice also enjoyed being an entrepreneur, purchasing a tank plant at the Port of Stockton, a door company and building and running a custom Web page business with his wife, Bettie Fiant Rice.

Mr. Rice's hobbies included boating, chess, tennis and underwater photography. He enjoyed sailing his boat up and down the Pacific Coast, spending several years living in Cabo San Lucus. In later years, Mr. Rice enjoyed spending time on his small farm, playing with his dogs, reading military thrillers and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Bettie Rice, of Lockeford; daughters, Kym Kennedy, of Coos Bay, Ore., and Valerie Silverthorne, of West Newbury, Mass.; and a granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Loretta Rice, in 1986.

A chapel service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in the Evergreen Chapel at Cherokee Memorial Park. A celebration of his life will follow at Gigalo's at Vino Piazza in Lodi. A private graveside service will be held on Tuesday.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society at Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202, or by visiting

Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



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