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1958 Jim 2023

James E. Rice

December 29, 1958 — April 26, 2023

Littleton, Massachusetts

James E. “Jim” Rice, 64, of Littleton, MA, passed away on Wednesday April 26, 2023 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Born December 29, 1958 he is the son of the late Edward “Ted” and Evelyn (Barbato) Rice. Raised in Bedford, MA, Jim spent his early years with his friends and many cousins getting into mischief wherever they could find it. He especially loved taking any opportunity to play practical jokes on his three older sisters. By high school Jim had become a solid citizen and was active in many school and extracurricular activities. His true passion was music, playing trumpet in concert, jazz, and marching band as well as writing and composing his own music and performing in several local bands. He graduated in 1976 and was accepted to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where he received his Master’s Degree in Geology in 1985.

After college, Jim worked in the Texas oilfields with Schlumberger for several years before moving back to Massachusetts to begin his consulting career, first with Weston Geophysical, then later with Arthur D Little. He was with Arthur D Little through their acquisition by ICF Consulting for a combined span of over 30 years. In that time, he traveled extensively conducting both hands-on field work, and later providing training seminars to the next generation of field workers. His work brought him not only to locations all over the United States and Canada, but to project sites and seminars in Bermuda, Nigeria, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and numerous other countries. He was passionate about his work and creating sustainable, positive change in the world.

 When he wasn’t working Jim threw himself into his many hobbies. He was an avid gardener, beekeeper, grill master, baker, and fisherman. His love of music continued throughout his life and he took up the challenge of learning the pedal steel guitar and mandolin in his 50’s. He also loved going to live music events spanning all genres of music. He especially enjoyed combining his hobbies with his love of travel to go on vacations like his annual “Texas Pilgrimage” with his son, Jake, to see the bluebonnet fields in bloom, visit the best barbecue pits, and see the largest pedal steel guitar showcase in the country.

Jim was generous with his time, and often found himself in teaching or leadership roles wherever he went. He was President of the Rhode Island Steel Guitar Association, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, taught trumpet lessons at The Minor Chord, and never missed an opportunity to teach younger generations the joy of fishing, especially ice fishing. He also donated time and mineral specimens to local Scout troops to help them earn their Geology merit badges.

Jim was a devout Catholic and active member of his lifelong church, St. Michael’s Parish, in Bedford, MA where he served in the Knights of Columbus and helped with various church events.

 Family was the most important thing in Jim’s life. He believed love was what made a family, it was more than blood. He is survived by his children Samantha Cahill (husband Chris) of Pittsfield, MA, and James “Jake” Rice of Littleton, MA, his sisters Judy Rice (Alan Berkman) of Belmont, MA, Janet Rice (husband Paul Chisholm) of Westford, MA and Joan Rice (Doug Mildram) of Harvard, MA, his nephews Emmet and Liam Norton of Harvard, MA, and niece and nephew Melissa and Alex Kirby of MI. He is also survived by his loving girlfriend of three years Stella Beard and her children Jordan Byrd (wife Kerry Byrd and daughter Evelyn) of East Greenbush, NY and Grace Byrd (daughter Brooklyn) of Virginia Beach, VA. He is predeceased by his wife of 33 years Ruth Rice, his son Aaron Rice (husband Bob Mitchell) and brother-in-law Bill Norton.

Friends and family will gather to honor and remember Jim on Friday, May 5, 2023 from 4:00PM to 7:00PM at Badger Funeral Home, 347 King St. Littleton, MA. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at St. Michael’s Church, 90 Concord Rd, Bedford, MA at 11:00AM. A private burial will follow in Westlawn Cemetery in Littleton, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

Boston Children’s Hospital Trust

401 Park Drive, Suite 602

Boston, MA. 02215


Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry

234 Barnum Road

Devens, MA. 01434


 Arrangements under the care of Badger Funeral Home, 347 King Street, Littleton, MA 01460 (978)-460-3709


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