Milan, Ohio – Bernard J. Rice, 94, of Milan, Ohio, and formerly of North Fairfield, Ohio, passed away Tuesday, February 4, 2020 in Stein Hospice Care Center, Sandusky, Ohio. He was born June 11, 1925, in Sherman Township, Ohio, to the late Charles and Anna (Hahler) Rice, and was a lifelong area resident. Bernie was a graduate of Willard High School, and was a veteran of the U.S. Army during W.W. II. He fought at the Battle of the Bulge, France, and Germany. Bernie was a former employee of Walcher Farms, Underwood Implement Company, Guthrie Chevrolet, and Laymore Manufacturing. As a young man he co-owned a tavern in Centerton, Ohio, with his father and brother. He was a former member of the Willard Eagles, Willard V.F.W., and the Willard American Legion. Bernie enjoyed fishing, tinkering with cars and tractors, and woodworking. He is survived by his children, Patricia (John) Woodruff of Norwalk, Ohio, Barbara (Norb) Perry of Monroeville, Ohio, Deborah (Larry) Smith of Mansfield, Ohio, and Pamela (Daniel) Hite of Milan, Ohio, 12 grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren. Bernie was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma (Durling) Rice, in 2018, by his daughter, Sandy Rice in 1968, by his brother, Herman Rice, by his sister, Bertha Winemiller, and by his great grandson. Friends may call on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Walker-Eastman-Heydinger Funeral Home, 98 West Main Street, Norwalk, Ohio, where funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Chaplain Mel Sayler will officiate. Interment will be in North Fairfield Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Stein Hospice Service, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, Ohio 44870. Online condolences may be made by going to www.walkereastmanheydingerfh.com.
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