Michael Thomas Armour ‘Mike’ Rice
Michael Thomas Armour “Mike” Rice departed this life for his Heavenly home unexpectedly on Friday, Oct. 1, at the age of 65. He was born on Jan. 8, 1956, in Farmville, and was the only child of Margaret Edwards Rice and Albert Armour Rice. He attended Prince Edward Academy and Cumberland Co. High School. He took up carpentry, which soon became his career.
Mike and his partner, Leigh Parton, began a business together called P & R Construction. Mike enjoyed doing historic restorations and worked on many downtown buildings as well as private homes. He was a master craftsman who paid attention to detail and had the ability to visualize the finished project in his mind even before starting the work. He loved what he did. He didn’t consider it work. Every project was different. He was often booked months in advance.
Mike met Laura N. Haga in 1989. After dating several years, they married on Oct.1, 1994. They settled down at his old family farm near High Bridge. They have one son, Adam, who was born on Oct. 9, 2000. They were married 27 years to the day.
For a man who worked most of the time, he had hobbies too. Mike loved Civil War history. He was a member of High Bridge Camp #1581 Sons of Confederate Veterans. He enjoyed going relic hunting with his metal detector looking for buttons, mini balls and such. He loved classic cars and attended lots of car shows from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. Mike drove a black Trans Am in the late 70’s that made the hearts of teenage boys beat faster when he came down the street.
What really kept his interest throughout his life was Harley Davidson motorcycles. Having been to Daytona Beach Bike Week numerous times, he finally got a chance to go to Sturgis in 2000. He loved a good steak and a big rack of ribs, a cold beer and a nip of moonshine. The only cooking he did was on the grill.
Mike was a devoted son who made sure his mother was well taken care of throughout her 102 years of life.
Working with people was something he enjoyed. He opened doors for new professionals to make new contacts. He assisted his friends when they needed his help. He built a reputation for himself by working hard, standing by his word and finishing what he started. He was “full throttle’” to the end.
Mike was predeceased by his parents.
He is survived by his loving wife, Laura Haga Rice; his son, Adam Armour Rice and numerous cousins and friends.
We know he’ll ‘twist a wick’ in Heaven.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Randolph Fire Dept. or the Farmville Rescue Squad.