James H. Rice
November 12, 1927 – June 24, 2018
James H. Rice, 90, longtime resident of Orleans, Cummaquid, and Yarmouthport, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 24, 2018 due to age-related complications after a brief hospitalization. He was the son of Waldo H. Rice and Anne (Gilmore) Rice.
Jim was born in Needham, MA in 1927, where he grew up. He summered with his family on the Cape in Orleans where he enjoyed boating, fishing and sailing. In his teens, Jim worked summers at Howard Johnson’s scooping ice cream and meeting girls, including his future first wife, Lillian “Polly” Stott. Jim attended the University of Maine in Orono where he earned a bachelors degree in business. He joined the Coast Guard and was stationed in San Diego, CA, tasked as a weatherman (he joked he would wake up each day, predict “clear, dry and sunny” and go back to bed). After the Coast Guard, Jim attended Boston University where he earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Jim and Polly were married in 1952 in Washington, DC, where Polly grew up. They first lived in Duxbury and Jim commuted into Boston and worked at Boston Safe Deposit & Trust as an Investment Analyst. But Jim and Polly had ‘sand in their shoes’ from the Cape, and moved here in 1957. Despite his business education, Jim’s first choice of vocation was fishing and lobstering. Before moving from Duxbury, he bought an old lobster boat, the Skipjack. Upon moving the Skipjack from Duxbury to Orleans, the boat was wrecked on the bar entering Nauset Harbor — a total loss, and Jim swam to shore, unemployed. He returned to banking and went to work as a teller at the Cape Cod Trust Co. which, following a subsequent merger and name change, became Cape Cod Bank & Trust Co. Over the years Jim advanced rapidly, becoming a trust officer, and then Sr Vice President running the bank’s trust department. He subsequently became CCB&T’s Executive Vice President and in 1974, became President when Ralph Farnham retired. A number of years later, Jim was also named CCB&T’s Chairman of the Board. He retired in 1991 and remained active on the board for another 5 years.
Jim was remarried to Janet Higginbottom and they built a house and lived happily in Cummaquid and then Yarmouthport. Jim and Janet enjoyed golf, travel, and social events, and spent time in Naples, FL each winter. Sadly, Janet developed Alzheimer’s, but Jim was a devoted caretaker while his beloved Janet could be at home, and a faithful daily visitor when later she needed more care.
Jim was an avid reader, especially fond of westerns and detective novels. He also had a gift for landscaping and woodworking. Throughout his life, Jim was involved with community organizations and civic volunteerism. From the Orleans Planning Board, Rotary, Little League, and Sea Scouts, to being a co-founder of the Cape Cod Foundation and Chairman of the Cape Cod Hospital Board, Jim consistently helped organizations to start, grow, and thrive. The number of organizations to which he gave his time, talent, and treasure are too many to list. Through his final months, Jim continued to stay abreast of, and help, more than a dozen Cape Cod non-profit organizations.
Jim was pre-deceased by his son Jonathan in 2013 and his wife Janet in 2015. He was also pre-deceased by his sister Nancy Armstrong and his sister Anne Gainey. Jim is survived by his daughter Jamie Chalker and her husband Don , of Chatham, and their daughters Amy, of Santa Barbara, CA and Melanie of Charleston, SC; by his son Peter Rice and his wife Amy, of Brewster, and their daughters Ally, of La Jolla, CA and Kaitlin, of Portland, ME; by his granddaughters Parker Rice of Newton, MA and Briannah Rice of So. Yarmouth, MA; by his former wife Polly, of So Orleans, MA; and by his beloved cat Shy-Anne.
Calling hours are planned for Sunday July 8th from 4-6pm at Nickerson Funeral Home in Orleans. The following services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the Cape Cod Foundation Scholarship Fund. The Cape Cod Foundation, 261 White’s Path, Unit 2, So. Yarmouth, MA 02664.