|Birth: ||May 8, 1977|
|Death: ||Mar. 20, 1993|
Ocala Star-Banner (FL) - March 24, 1993
Deceased Name: Andy Rice: Special Olympian Rice dies at 15
OCALA -- It doesn't matter what the doctor's report says about how Donald Rice's son died. He believes 15-year-old Andy Rice "died of a broken heart."
"He said he was going to be with Momma," Rice said.
Andy's mother, Shirley Rice, died March 1992, and a beloved horse Andy competed with died last fall.
Then on Saturday, a year after his mother's death, Andy died. Andy was an equestrian competitor in Marion County Special Olympics for five years, and the winner of more than 50 red and blue ribbons on local, county, district and state levels.
Rice said he took Andy to the emergency room at Gainesville's Shands Hospital on March 14 with what seemed like flu symptoms. The family is waiting for the results of an autopsy.
In spite of mental and physical disabilities since birth, Andy was the kind of person "that once he started something he didn't quit," said his sister, Sharon Harris.
In addition to his Special Olympics ribbons, Andy won trophies for his equestrian skills for the last five years at the Shrine Rodeo for Exceptional Children. He held jobs at a local Kwik King, McDonald's and Quincy's Family Steak House.
"There will never be another one like him," Harris said.
Andy developed kidney problems about six years ago. He was on dialysis for a short time and then underwent a kidney transplant.
"At Shands they called him the 'miracle child,' " said Andy's father. "He was the only child that had a kidney transplant and didn't reject it within the first 11 days."
A memorial fund to alleviate the financial burdens of Andy's family, a student at Hillcrest School for Exceptional Students, has been set up at SouthTrust
The cause was spearheaded by Lynn Brantley, coordinator for the Marion County Special Olympics, who said the young man was an equestrian competitor for five years.
"He was a wonderful boy. We're going to miss him," Brantley said.
Greg James, branch manager of SouthTrust Bank, Cedar Shores office, said that although he did not know Andy Rice personally, he was impressed by the sentiments of the people who were closest to him.
"The people I talked to were so touched by knowing him. I understand he was special and outstanding. That prompted me to do all I can," he said.
James said donations to the Andy Rice Memorial Fund can be dropped at any SouthTrust Bank, or mail checks to SouthTrust Bank, Cedar Shores Office, c/o The Andy Rice Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 3570, Ocala, Fla. 34478.
Funeral services for Andy Rice will be held today at 10 a.m. at Cedar Creek Baptist Church in Scrambletown, with burial immediately following in the church cemetery.
Donald Rice said he appreciates the fund, because he didn't know how he was going to pay for funeral and burial arrangements.
"My wife died a year ago and I'm still paying for that. I appreciate everything and I hope God blesses everyone. I don't know how we would have gotten through it," Rice said. Special to the Star-Banner Andy Rice, a 15-year-old Ocala area student, died this weekend.Author: Barbara De Marinis Staff Writer Edition: Marion Page: 1A
Cedar Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
Created by: No Guts, No Glory
Record added: May 30, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19622069