March 1, 1931 — July 21, 2017
MYRTLE BEACH, SC; SMITHTOWN, NY; OAKDALE, NY — Thomas “Tom” L. Rice, 86, of Myrtle Beach and Long Island, passed away Friday, July 21, 2017
Born March 1, 1931, in Hudson Falls, he was the son of Harry E. and Pearl (Wells) Rice.
Prior to graduating from Hudson Falls High School in 1948, Tom played trombone in the school band, under the direction of Maurice Whitney, and sang in the school choir, under the direction of Walter Ninesling. A longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Hudson Falls, Tom received private voice lessons due to the generosity of his Sunday School teacher, J. Walter Juckett. Inspired and encouraged by these mentors, Tom majored in Trombone and minored in Vocal Performance at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1952. He continued his education, earning his master’s degree in music from Columbia University in New York City.
Tom very proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1954. While stationed in Bainbridge, Maryland, he directed the recruit band, until his subsequent deployment to a destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea. After his discharge, Tom returned to music, teaching in both North Syracuse and Schenectady before moving to Long Island. He retired in 1985 from many dedicated years in the music department of the Sayville School System. After retirement, he remained a highly sought-after, private piano instructor to dozens of Long Island students.
Blessed with a beautiful bass-baritone voice, Tom performed throughout his life. He shared his gift with numerous choral societies, opera companies, churches and synagogues around Long Island, most notably as a featured soloist with the Babylon Chorale and the Old Bethpage Restoration Singers for more than forty years. He was also an accomplished composer of choral music and a member of ASCAP — the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Tom is survived by his devoted wife, Maggie (Reilly) Rice of Myrtle Beach; his daughter Sharlene (Rice) Wegner and her husband, George; his son Steven Rice; his daughter Sharlet Rice; his grandchildren Kevin and Kelli; his sister Jane (Rice) Story of Hudson Falls; his brother Edward Rice and his wife, Mary Beth, of New Hartford and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorial services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, 257 Middle Road, Sayville, NY.
Arrangements are under Carleton Funeral Home, Inc., 68 Main St. in Hudson Falls.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.carletonfuneralhome.net.