CHAMPAIGN — Samuel Joseph Rice, 29, of Champaign passed away at 3:26 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, 2019, at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center, Urbana.
Sam was born Feb. 16, 1990, in Urbana, during the Valentine’s Day ice storm.
He is survived by his loving parents, Richard and Kim Rice; his devoted younger brother, Zachary Rice; and his grandmother, Joan Jarzemsky. His large, extended family includes many aunts, uncles and cousins, who all loved and supported Sam.
Sam was a beautiful man with a beautiful smile and a beautiful heart. Sam was an artist with a creative, tender spirit. He did drawing, painting, gardening, woodworking and welding. He loved his dog, Luna; setting up his hammock in the pine trees; and the many vacations on Lake Michigan.
Sam attended Holy Cross Elementary School, Champaign Central High School and Parkland College. Most recently, he was employed as a housepainter with Romine Painting Company.
Sam was a caring and giving person; he continued that in death through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, donations in Sam’s memory can be made to Gift of Hope, giftofhope.org; the Japan House at the University of Illinois; or the Champaign County Humane Society.
A funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Monday, July 15, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 612 E. Park Ave., Champaign. Visitation is at 10 a.m., one hour prior to the Mass, at the church. A luncheon will be held for family and friends after Mass in the Oscar Romero Parish Center.
To honor Sam's gentle nature, we ask that you dress comfortably and wear something blue, Sam's favorite color and a reminder of Lake Michigan, the big lake he loved so much.
Condolences may be offered at owensfuneralhomes.com.