Chris RiceChris Rice, 29, Santa Barbara, CA, formerly of Fessenden, ND, died from injuries sustained in an ATV accident December 18, 2011, in the Mojave Desert near Randsburg, CA.
Chris Rice, 29, Santa Barbara, CA, formerly of Fessenden, ND, died from injuries sustained in an ATV accident December 18, 2011, in the Mojave Desert near Randsburg, CA.
Christopher Wayne Rice was born June 10, 1982, to Wayne and Gretchen Rice (now Bertsch) in Fargo, ND. He grew up in Fessenden, ND, and graduated from high school there in the year 2000. Chris was baptized April 7, 1991, at the First Baptist Church in Fessenden. While in high school he was active in football and track as well as on the student council. He received the Principal's Award for Leadership upon graduating. Throughout high school, Chris always had a job, be it mowing, delivering the Fargo Forum, farming for Anne and Bill Ongstad, working for Bollingberg Seeds, or as a co-op student at the First International Bank when he was a senior. Christopher spent many fun-filled days snowmobiling the snow-covered prairie of Wells County with his high school buddies. Chris attended the University of North Dakota where he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mass Communications. Chris was an editor on the UND student newspaper while at college, and because of his love of biking he worked in the bicycle department at Scheels. While at UND Christopher was an intern at Walt Disney World in Florida for one semester. Upon graduating from UND Christopher served an internship at Bike magazine in San Clemente, California. Chris loved biking and had the scars and broken bones to prove it. After moving to Santa Barbara, Christopher worked at the downtown Velo Pro Cyclery where he became fast friends with many. He finally attained his dream job which was at Deckers Outdoor Corporation. He started working at their Simple division where he had attained the title of Retail Marketing Coordinator, then was transferred to their Teva division where he had recently been promoted to Product Development Coordinator. Chris loved the atmosphere at Deckers and was looking forward to more extensive traveling as part of his job description. Christopher loved the outdoors and spent much time Dirt Biking with his friends in the desert of California. He and his friends also spent many exciting weekends on the track with their Street Bikes. Christopher was a tremendous friend to everyone he met. He was a very kind, polite, and peaceful young man. Chris had a constant smile on his face and a headful of beautiful curly hair. Chris loyally came home several times a year to see his grandmothers. As a young boy Chris had a fondness for books and reading. Whenever Papa Milton came over Chris would grab a handful of books and crawl into Papa's lap and sit there for hours while Papa read to him. Chris had a special bond with his little brother, Benjamin. This past September Chris was proud to be able to see Benjamin play football. Chris decided Ben should bulk up so he got up early every morning to fry eggs and make buttered toast and chocolate milk, which Ben still eats to this day. Chris had scheduled a flight home for this Christmas as well. The weekend of December 17th, Chris took his last adventure into the Mojave Desert where he met his death while a passenger on an ATV.
Chris left behind his mother, Gretchen (Jon) Bertsch, Fessenden; father, Wayne, Fessenden; sister, Jessica (Charles) Mason-Hill of South Jordan, UT; brother, Andrew, Crookston, MN; brother, Jonathan, Grand Forks, ND; and brother, Benjamin, at home; grandmothers Evelyn Pepple and Marcella Bertsch, both of Harvey, ND; Bernice Rice, Maddock, ND.
Chris was preceded in death by grandfathers Milton Pepple, Willie Bertsch, and Bill Rice, and by his aunt Ann Pepple. Chris leaves behind many friends as well as his new puppy, Bunny, who is now a part of Jessica's family.
A Celebration of Life Ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m. on January 4, 2012, at Elings Park South Bluff in Santa Barbara, CA.
A funeral will be held January 7, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Fessenden, ND, with burial at the Fessenden Baptist Cemetery of rural Fessenden.
Arrangements are with Nelson Funeral Home of Fessenden. (701-547-3731)