On July 11, 2019, Ron Rice passed peacefully at home from a well-lived and well-loved life.
Born in Nevinville, Iowa to Ivan and Irma (Johnson) Rice on July 29, 1941, Ron was the younger brother to twins Dick and Bob. During his youth, Ron lived with his family in Nevinville, Rolfe, Pocahontas, and moved to Cedar Falls following the death of his father in 1953.
He attended Teachers College High School in Cedar Falls, where he topped off his senior year (1959) by winning the state championship in wrestling. He spent the next few years wrestling at the University of Northern Iowa, while earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.
With a strong belief that every child could and should learn, Ron went to work for the Mason City School District from 1970-1986. He served as an elementary PE teacher, school psychologist, director of the alternative school, principal of Monroe Junior High, director of curriculum and assistant superintendent. While leading, he was also learning… earning his PhD from Iowa State University.
After a superintendency in Hudson, WI for two years, he proudly served as superintendent of the Ames Community School District from 1988-1996. During this time, he was awarded the Iowa Superintendent of the Year Award. In 1996, he was honored to be named the Executive Director of the Iowa Association of School Boards. He continued to passionately advocate for Iowa’s public schools with IASB until his retirement in 2009.
While he was dedicated to education, he loved his family. He shared his love of travel with his daughters, taking them on trips around the US, Spain, Puerto Rico, and South America. He and his wife, Sarai, traveled to Russia, Europe, and China and to their beloved Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they were married on May 30, 2007. He cherished his time attending many NCAA Wrestling Championships with his nephew, Todd. He also enjoyed watching a multitude of his grandsons' soccer games, baseball games, and wrestling matches.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sarai; daughters, Lindsey (Chad) Cornwell and Cassie (Seth) Dohrn; stepsons, Daniel Beck and Christjahn Beck; parents-in-law, Robert and Anna Mae Schnucker; adoring grandchildren, Tess, Carson, Cael and Jack; and former wife, Becky Rice.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Dick and Bob.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn on S 64th St. in West Des Moines on August 4 from 1:00-3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Raising Readers in Story County www.raising-readers.org/donate or the University of Northern Iowa Ron and Sarai Rice Panther Champions Wrestling Scholarship www.adv.uni.edu/foundation/pledgeform.aspx.
Original source can be found here.