Cover photo for James Ralph Rice's Obituary
James Ralph Rice Profile Photo
1944 Ralph 2023

James Ralph Rice

July 2, 1944 — September 2, 2023



Ralph Rice

Easley, SC


James Ralph Rice, 79, known affectionately as "Ralph," passed away peacefully to his heavenly home on September 2, 2023, at his residence. He was born on July 2, 1944, in Ashland, Kentucky to his parents the late Hobert Rice and Hazel Alexander Fugeman.

Ralph led a fulfilling life, leaving behind a legacy of dedication and service. After serving his country proudly in the US Army for six years during the Vietnam War, he transitioned into civilian life and worked diligently for AK Steel in Ashland for three decades. His commitment and contributions to the company were that of leadership and efficiency. 

While Ralph's career was significant to him, it was not the only aspect that defined his life. He had an unwavering enthusiasm for various hobbies and interests. Carpentry was a passion that allowed him to express his creativity and craftsmanship. Whether it was building furniture or taking on renovation projects around the house, Ralph's skilled hands brought beauty to his family and friends.  In addition to carpentry, Ralph had a deep love for cars and motorcycles. He could often be found in his garage with a project car, motorcycle, or even a boat to be restored.  

If you were privileged enough to spend time with Ralph, you would know that he had an appreciation for classic country music that ran deep within him. The sound of a steel guitar, a banjo, or a violin brought joy to his heart and provided an escape from the daily hustle of life. Additionally, he found enjoyment in picking up a stringed instrument and teaching himself to play. 

Beyond his professional accomplishments and hobbies, Ralph had an unwavering commitment to serving others with kindness and compassion. As a past member of the El Hasa Shrine Club in Ashland, Kentucky, he dedicated himself to supporting charitable causes close to his heart. His involvement as a Shriner allowed him to entertain children and families, as well as raise money to aid in the care that Shriners’ Hospital provides.

Ralph's genuine nature and big smile left a lasting impact on everyone fortunate enough to cross his path. He loved to make others laugh.  He was a man of integrity, principles, and unquestionable loyalty. He was admired for his strong work ethic, generosity, and willingness to lend a helping hand whenever needed.

While Ralph will be deeply missed by all who knew him, his memory will be carried on by his surviving family and friends. His children, Jeffrey Allen Rice of Easley, and Stacey Lynn McLeod (Rob) of Pumpkintown will forever hold their loving father close in their hearts. Ralph’s grandson, Nicholas Ison, and granddaughter, Alissa McLeod, will forever remember the love and guidance bestowed upon him by their grandfather. Also surviving is his brother, Charles Wesley “Poss” Rice of Grayson, KY; his half-sister, Paula Jean Fugeman-Moore of Ironton, OH.


In addition to his parents, Ralph was predeceased by a brother, Hobert “Jiggs” Rice, Jr., and a sister, Addie (Susie) Basenbach.

As we gather to honor the life of James Ralph Rice, let us celebrate the remarkable person he was — a devoted father and grandfather, a respected veteran, an accomplished professional, and a loving friend. May his memories of service, passion for life's treasures, and dedication to making the world a better place continue to inspire us all.


The family will receive friends Sunday evening September 10, 2023, from 4:00 PM until 5:30 PM at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, Easley. A private committal service will be held at M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery in Anderson.


Rest in peace, James Ralph Rice. Our hearts will forever be filled with the love and laughter that you so easily gave. 

Visit or Robinson Funeral Home and Crematory-Downtown, Easley.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, September 10, 2023

4:00 - 5:30 pm (Eastern time)

Robinson Funeral Home Downtown

305 West Main Street, Easley, SC 29641

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M.J. "Dolly" Cooper Veterans Cemetery

140 Inway Dr, Anderson, SC 29621


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