James F. 'Jim' Rice
James “Jim” Rice passed away October 25, 2015. Born in Salem, Ore. May 10, 1934 to Ted and Cork Rice; he fondly regarded Myrtle Creek, Ore. as his hometown.
Graduating from Myrtle Creek High in 1952, he won a Naval science scholarship to Oregon State College. At OSC, Jim was a Thane, a member of Scabbard and Blade, and served as president of his fraternity, Theta Chi. He was a member of both the Naval ROTC and OSC Varsity rifle teams garnering many team and individual shooting honors in national intercollegiate competitions. In 1955, Jim belonged to a four-man team that set a national smallbore rifle shooting record. Upon completion of his degree in June 1956, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. The same month he married Marilyn Bohnert of Central Point, Ore. and the couple moved to Quantico, Va. where Jim began his career as a U.S. Marine.
Jim was stationed at the Marine Barracks in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with the Honor Guard for CINCPACFLEET. During this time, he earned the distinction of National Rifle Association Lifetime Master. Later, at Puloa, Hawaii, he ran the Marine Corps Rifle Range.
In 1963, Jim served as the Executive Officer of the 1st 8” Howitzer Battery on Okinawa. Reunited with his wife and young daughters in 1964, he undertook recruiting duty in Seattle, Washington. There he obtained his private pilot’s license and attended trapshooting competitions. Jim attended Command and Staff College in 1967, before reporting to Vietnam where he served in Dong Ha and Saigon.
Returning from Vietnam, he was assigned to Officer Promotion in Washington, D.C. He took MBA courses at George Washington University, finished his Master’s degree at Oregon State University, and became a Private Pilot Ground School Instructor. Jim remained at O.S.U. and served as the Executive Officer of the NROTC unit where he coached the Rifle team and earned the admiration of a new generation of Marines.
Retiring from the Marine Corps in 1977 with the rank of Lt. Colonel, Jim became a Smith & Wesson certified gunsmith and opened Rogue Precision Specialties in Central Point. In the years that followed, Jim ran his business and taught gunsmithing, math, metallurgy, and computer -assisted manufacturing courses at Rogue Community College. He also found time to hunt and fish with his friends from O.S.U. and the Marine Corps. He was a member of the Police Marksman Association, the Oregon State Rifle & Pistol Association, and the Medford Rifle and Pistol Club. He served as a Range Director for the National Highpower Rifle Matches in Camp Perry, Ohio and was awarded the Distinguished Rifleman Badge and President’s Hundred in 1982. Earning the distinction of Lifetime Master in high-power indoor and outdoor smallbore competitive shooting, Jim was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association in 1989. He became an Endowment Member of the NRA in 2007.
Jim traveled to international rifle competitions in Australia and England as a member of the U.S.A.Veterans Rifle Team and was one of the six founders of the Bald Eagle Rifle Club, enabling competitors over the age of 60 to shoot in recognized teams and national and international matches. He was a founder of the Spirit of America Match, a seven-day competition that later became the National Fullbore Championship Match. Jim served as Match Director for the first 10 years of the Spirit of America Matches.
Jim Rice will be remembered by his friends and family as an intelligent and multi-talented man with a keen sense of humor. He was always reading, learning, and embarking on new projects. Loved for his wit, passion, and ability to fix almost anything, Jim was proud of his friends and gave generously of his time to the competitive shooting community.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; daughters and sons-in-law, Lynn and Dennis Gladman and Sandra and William Schireman; his brother and sister-in-law Thomas and Nita Rice; his grandchildren and their spouses, John and Brittany Gladman, Mark and Abbigale Gladman, Paul Gladman, Claire Gladman, David Gladman,;Alexandra Schireman Toner and Robert Toner; and James Schireman.
Jim’s family will hold a memorial service at 1:00 p.m. November 5, 2015 at the White City Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Center (SORCC) chapel followed by a 3:00 p.m. graveside service with military honors at Eagle Point National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Jim’s memory to the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment or to the Oregon State University NROTC Unit. Mail checks (payable to Dept. of Treasury-Wounded Warrior Regiment with note section reading USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment) addressed to: Wounded Warrior Regiment, Attn: Charitable Giving Coordinator, 1998 Hill Ave.,Quantico, Va. 22134 Alternately: Oregon State University NROTC, 104 Naval Armory Corvallis, OR 9733. Payable to OSU NROTC.