Nickerson Funeral Home

77 Eldredge Park Way, Orleans, MA


Jonathan Philip Rice

April 17, 1940March 19, 2020

Jonathan Philip Rice, of Brewster, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on March 19, 2020 after a valiant attempt to outwit cancer. Born April 17, 1940 to parents Cecil Curtis Rice and Elizabeth Wheeler (Judd) Rice. Jonathan grew up in South Hadley, MA, graduated from Deerfield Academy, Amherst College and Yale Law School.

Jonathan leaves his beloved wife of 55 years, Susan (Nash) Rice, and his devoted children, Laura (Rice) Boer and her husband, Marco, of Hingham, MA and Philip Rice and his wife, Jennifer, of Alexandria, VA. He also leaves his cherished grandchildren, Sydney, Lydia, Camille and Beatrix Boer and Ethan, Gideon and Adelyn Rice. He will be missed by his grand-dog and napping companion, Ripley. Besides his parents, he is also preceded in death by his sister Carolyn (Rice) Nahon.

Jonathan's great grandfather, John Kellogg Judd, founded Judd Paper Company in Holyoke, MA. His grandfather, Philip Munson Judd, and his father continued the operation of the business. Jonathan worked there one summer and decided that the law was a better fit for him. Following graduation from Yale, he joined the firm of Allen, Yerrall, Appleton and Thompson in Springfield, MA. Mentored by Attorney Horace Allen, he developed a practice in probate, estate administration and elder law. Thirty years later, he joined the firm of Robinson Donovan, P.C. During his career, he and his family lived in Longmeadow, MA.

Forever a hobbyist, Jonathan was a lifelong stamp collector and amateur ornithologist. Having studied Asian history in college, he was an avid collector of Japanese woodblock prints and an enthusiastic reader of Japanese history and literature. He became fascinated with celestial navigation and helped teach a course for the Springfield Power Squadron.

Jonathan was a faithful member of South Congregational Church in Springfield. He served as clerk for 33 years, moving on to Senior Deacon and Moderator.

Jonathan's family has had a summer home in a very special community in the town of Brewster on Cape Cod since 1912. He spent every summer of his life there. It was there that he discovered his love of tennis, sailing, and later in life, golf. He and his family formed lifelong friendships with members of this community. Together, he and a group of these friends organized sailing regattas and enjoyed many biking, sailing and other travel adventures.

When he retired, his dream was to live full time on the Cape. That dream became a reality in 2014. There, he explored his creative interests in drawing, watercolor and acrylic art classes, joined a bridge group and continued playing tennis and golf.

Jonathan's family wishes to express their thanks to Dr. Jennifer Ang Chan and her team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for their excellent care during the past 22 years, and to VNA Hospice of Cape Cod and Bridget's Home Healthcare for making his final weeks comfortable.

His family will cherish the memory of his kindness and patience, his love of his grandchildren and his Brewster community, and his skill in making fudge and penuche at Christmas.

A celebration of his life will be held in July, on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jonathan's memory may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or to the Brewster Council on Aging. For online condolences, please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com.


  • A celebration of his life will be held in July, on a date to be announced


Jonathan Philip Rice

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Philip Brewer

March 30, 2020

Jon Rice, was, to me, one of the pillars of the Brewster Park community, literally and figuratively. He was always a gentleman, and knew my family well. My parents, Barbara and Van Brewer, depended on Jon for their estate planning, which my sister and I appreciated both then and now.
Jon was quite a competitor, both as a sailor, golfer, and on the tennis court where I started playing with and against him as a teenager, continuously over 4 or 5 decades and as recently as last summer. We had a lot of fun on the courts. He was almost impossible to lob over, and with his long reach getting the ball by him at net was also difficult, so the challenge was to keep him on the baseline - easier said than done!
Jon will definitely be missed.

John Schofield

March 29, 2020

While I played tennis in the Menace group for a short time and saw John there I actually never played with him. However, having many times shared his interest in Japanese prints while he attended sales and exhibitions at Eldred's we knew each other fairly well and we both looked forward to tennis together, though it never happened. He was a man easy to recognize not just for his height but for his cheerful disposition and friendly smile. I regret not getting in that game but more than that I will miss his friendship.

Paul Hetzel

March 29, 2020

Mrs Rice- my sincere condolences to you and your family. I still remember well your plea to Dr Wilson to complete the surgery which allowed Jonathan all these extra years. It was a privilege to have been part of his early care team. Be well. Paul Hetzel

Alan Levick

March 28, 2020

I will miss him at the bridge table especially his warmth and his friendliness.
He was a supplier of tennis balls for our Golden Retriever.

Bill Wibel

March 25, 2020

Sue, I am so sorry for your loss. Hanging around Brewster Park as a kid I knew him well. So many fond memories of those times.


Bill Wibel
Orleans, MA
Mountain Lakes, Class of 61

Margaret Howe Lovatt

March 24, 2020

Coach Graham hired us both one wonderful summer to be the
"assistant coaches ". I was overwhelmed: Jon was a bit older, had skills in sailing, tennis, organizing...and was MUCH taller. I, on the other hand, excelled in hours and hours of singing " The wonder ball goes 'round and 'round. "

Years later, at my sister Cathy's wedding to Jon's good friend Eric, Jon was Best Man and I was Maid of Honor. Jon made a memorable speech, including the unforgettable line " We all had a great time up there on the alter!" Laughter and champagne flowed !!!

Deepest sympathies and so much love to his wonderful Sue and family. Jon meant so much to so many people. Margaret Lovatt

John Button

March 24, 2020

Sue and family - we are saddened at your loss and will cherish our long friendship with Jon, (which for me started in the early 1950s). He was a true gentleman and such a nice person. We will miss his towering presence at the net in tennis game after tennis game and those courts will always bring a smile thinking of him there. You are in our thoughts and prayers. How lucky you all were to have him in your life and we were to have his friendship!
Our heartfelt condolences,
John & Peach

Lex Paulson

March 24, 2020

Jon Rice embodied the Brewster Park gentleman. Courtesy, decency, and generosity of spirit. In as small a terrain as the white lines of a tennis court he could exemplify all the simple virtues one needs in a good life. There was never a moment in my life where I didn’t know Jon Rice, and count on his steady kindness to me personally and to the entire community. He exemplified the daily goodness which helped make me the person I am and to which I will always aspire. We will miss you Jon.

Tony Alworth

March 22, 2020

My memories of Jon go back to our teenage years in Brewster Park , baseball, horseshoes, sailing and so much more. So many will miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,

john de fusco

March 22, 2020

Jon was a friend and fellow tennis player of the MENNCE tennis group. Always a gentleman with the group and willing to play with anyone. He will be missed by all. !