Stephen Rice

Obituary of Stephen Rice

Our good friend and an amazing man, Stephen Rice of Syracuse passed away peacefully on February 21, 2024, at Upstate Medical Center hospital surrounded by his loving family. A proud lifelong resident of Syracuse and the Valley, Steve loved his family, music and telling a good (sometimes) joke. 


He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lyn, daughters Allison Piccioni (Jim) and Ellen Earley, and son Dave Rice. Grandchildren Isla, Keira, Hope, Max and great grandchildren Julian and Oliver. Brothers Tom Cawley (Cindy), Christopher Cawley (Heather), sisters Mary Cawley-Oliver (Rich) and Gail Cawley (Tim Carroll). He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Caldwell and brother, David Rice. 


Steve graduated from Bishop Ludden High School, attended Morrisville College, and served in the Army Reserves. He worked for 40 years at Syracuse University where he was most proud of serving as the first operations manager of the then Carrier Dome.  Many of the people who worked with Steve have said he was a great man and upstanding guy who was always open to the needs of others. He treated people with dignity, and he worked hard. He touched the lives of many by teaching them what he knew about keeping a house together. "Calk and Paint - Make it what it Ain't!” was his motto. 


He had a talent and passion for his guitar and for decades was active in the local music scene. Bands he performed in include The Establishment, De-Generators, Steve Rice Band and Sugar Daddies. He volunteered at the Blues Fest along with many Valley friends. After retiring he loved his second career at Kitty Hoynes. He was the Dad Joke King and loved sharing his humor with the wonderful people he worked with there. He was an amazing husband, dad, friend, and grandfather and loved doting on his grandchildren, who lovingly called him Papa Corn and Papa Room Service. We cannot leave out Steve's other passion for the kittens, especially Maine Coons. We called him the Cat Whisperer and cats, even finicky ones, were drawn to him. 


The family would like to thank the amazing caregivers at Upstate on 6H for helping Steve and the family through this journey. Per Steve’s wishes, services will be private. The family asks Steve’s many friends to recall him with a fond memory. Contributions in Steve’s name can be made to The Upstate Foundation, Inc. (750 E. Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210), Eric Mulhauser Scholarship Fund (c/o OCC Foundation, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215) or Julian Thyme Earley Education Fund (c/o Mrs. Aubrey Panek, 109 Big Bend Way, Warners, NY 13164). 


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A Memorial Tree was planted for Stephen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home - Syracuse
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