George S. Rice Sr., USF&G executive, dies

George S. Rice Sr., who rose from a janitor to become a United States Fidelity & Guaranty executive, died Oct. 6 of cancer at a Palm Bay, Fla., hospice. He was 76.

Mr. Rice, the son of a merchant seaman and a homemaker, was born one of 10 in Baltimore, and raised in Westport.

He dropped out of parochial school and enlisted in the Air Force in 1951, where he served with the Air Force Security Police in Europe and earned his General Education Development certificate.

Mr. Rice was discharged in 1954 and the next year began working as a janitor at USF&G's old Calvert Street office.

"He later worked himself up and became manager of customer billing. He enjoyed a successful 33-year career in the insurance industry," said his son, George S. Rice Jr. of Silver Spring.

Mr. Rice, who was a longtime resident of West Hills, retired in 1991.

He moved to Hanover, Pa., in 1986, and had lived in Palm Bay since 2007.

He was a Frank Sinatra fan and enjoyed watching classic Hollywood Westerns.

"He was a lifelong Democrat and enjoyed political discussions," his son said.

Mr. Rice was also an accomplished woodworker and furniture maker.

He was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Hanover, Pa., where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday.

Also surviving are his wife of 52 years, the former Mary Angela Lee; a daughter, Angela Wilson of Raleigh, N.C.; a brother, Peter Rice of Baltimore; six sisters, Sarah Brooks, Ruth Brooks, Dorah Lewis, Anne Roach, Mary Johnson and Estelle Rice, all of Baltimore; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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