Donald Hazen Rice

May 23, 1935 ~ March 10, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old

Donald Rice Obituary

Donald Hazen Rice, 88 of Philo passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness on Sunday (March 10, 2024) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

He was born May 23, 1935 to Nathan and Alda (Cunningham) Rice of Philo.  He married Betty Hunt of Oakland on March 16, 1958.  They would have celebrated 66 years of marriage on the day of his funeral.

Don was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He is survived by his wife, Betty Rice and his three children, Dirk (Lynn) Rice of Philo, Melanie (Tom) King of Liberty Township, Ohio, and Carolyn Rice of Philo.  He was blessed with eight grandchildren that he loved dearly, Amanda (Paolo) Mendez of Monticello, Kelsey (Joshua) Ginnetti of Columbus, OH, Michael (Taylor) King of Orlando, Florida, Matthew (Tiffany Byrne) Rice of Philo, Ashley (Treighton Haddon) Rice of Bloomington, Jacob (Sydney) King of Smyrna, Tennessee, McKenna Rice of Philo, and Maximus Rice of Philo.  He had four great-grandchildren, Christian, Emma and Molly Mendez, Lucia Ginnetti and another on the way.  He is also survived by his brother, Richard (Marge) Rice of Savoy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Robert Rice.

Don was a lifetime farmer, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, and hogs on the family farm purchased by his great-grandfather and now farmed by his son and grandson.  He was an early adopter of conservation tillage and no-till and always farmed with the idea his ancestors were looking over his shoulder.

He was a graduate of Unity High School and the University of Illinois.  While there he followed in his father’s footsteps as a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity where he served as Noble Ruler and served on the Alumni Board for over 20 years.

Don was a lifetime member of the Philo Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder, Trustee, and church Treasurer for 40 years.  He never stopped serving the church, mowing the church grounds as late as last year.

He was a Director of the Philo Exchange Bank for several decades.  He was very proud to be part of the bank his family owned and operated for over 100 years.  He was a former Trustee of Philo Township and current Trustee of the Union Drainage District.

In his retirement years, Don enjoyed vegetable gardening and working in his two acre yard.  His family will miss the many crops that he shared.  He was known as a town historian around Philo, recalling many details on the population and history of the town he loved and lived in his whole life.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 pm on Friday, March 15 at Freese Funeral Home, 202 W. Main St., Sidney.  Funeral services will be at 10:30 am on Saturday, March 16 at Philo Presbyterian Church, 105 E. Jefferson St. Philo.  Burial will be at Locust Grove Cemetery, Philo.  Memorials may be made in Donald Rice’s name to Philo Presbyterian Church or American Cancer Society.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Hazen Rice, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Donald Hazen Rice?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Donald's memory.


March 15, 2024

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Freese Funeral Home
202 W. Main Street
Sidney, IL 61877

Funeral Service
March 16, 2024

10:30 AM
Philo Presbyterian Church


© 2024 Freese Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility