Thomas Johnson Rice, age 92, entered into rest May 18, 2016 at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He was born in Jacksonville, FL and moved to Tallahassee in 1968. Tom retired as a Lt. Colonel with 26 years in the U.S. Air Force. Then he had a second career with Lanier Business Machines Company with 15 years of service. Tom was a Life Member of the American Contract Bridge League; an avid golfer, FSU sports fan and gardener.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Marilyn W. Rice. Survivors include three children: Karen Rice Kent, Rhonda Rice Luttrell and Thomas William Johnson Rice, III, all of Havana; five grandchildren, Skye Kent (Chris Burnett), Thom Kent, Russell Kent, Beau Luttrell (Amandalie), Sarah L. Maxwell (Jerod); two great-grandchildren, Haley and Julian Maxwell; one sister, Mary Margaret Rice Goodwin of Houston, TX; and numerous other loved ones.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Bevis Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army-Quincy Branch, Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch, P.O. Box 2000, Boys Ranch, FL 32064 or the Thornwell Home for Children, 302 S. Broad St., Clinton, SC 29325.
Susie Mozolic of Bevis Funeral Home is assisting the family with their arrangements. (www.bevisfh.com 850-385-2193)
May 1, 2016, Gene Lamar Belser, Sr. peacefully passed into the presence of Jesus. Gene was born April 24, 1933 to Judge Theodore Lamar and Abbie Lee Gillis Belser in Bonifay, Florida. He was the youngest of five boys and 2 girls. Only one sibling, Louise Belser Blackburn, Havana, FL, age 94 is still living.
He was predeceased by his parents, his siblings, Harvie J. Belser, Eula Mae Peaden, Murdock Belser, Steve Belser and Paul Belser. Gene started High School in Holmes County and later moved to Havana Florida, living with his sister Louise. There he played on the Havana High School 1948-49 FHSAA Boys Basketball State Championship teams. After his high school graduation, he joined the Army and received his honorable discharge after the faithful completion of his service and support of the freedom and defense of this great nation. He enrolled into Florida State University and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree as a Dean’s List member.
In 1954, he married Alva Gay Jordan (also from Havana) in the First Baptist Church of Havana Florida. He started his professional career as a teacher at Havana and later Pensacola, where he and his lovely bride started their family. Soon afterwards, he received his Fire and Casualty license and opened his first agency with Nationwide Insurance Company. From 1960 to 1964 he held an elected position on the Escambia County School Board. He remained in the private Insurance field until 1979. He then started a new job with the State Treasurer’s Office and Insurance Department which took him and his family to Tallahassee, FL. He completed his work career there and retired in 2002.
Gene is a member of the Seminole Baptist Church Tallahassee, FL, a proud member of the Saul’s Bridges American Legion Post 13, a past member of the West Pensacola Optimist Club, and Past President of the Pensacola Music Association.
No matter where he worked and served he was loyal and dedicated along with providing for his family and his community that he loved so much. He found enjoyment in life by attending church with his family, supporting his beloved Seminoles, working in the yard with his loving wife Alva of 61 years and raising their 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Together they have Paula DeLynn Belser (Milton, FL), Gene Lamar Belser, II (Pensacola, FL), and wife Ann Martin and Alan Jordan Belser, Sr. (Jacksonville, FL) and wife Teri Helen, 3 Grandsons, A. Jordan, Belser Jr. (Tampa), Matthew K. Belser (Jacksonville, FL), and Brian C. Belser (Pensacola, FL) and 1 Grand Daughter Sarah D. Belser (Pensacola, FL) and 1 Great Granddaughter Brooklyn S. Belser (Pensacola, FL). Two granddaughters, Katelyn and Ashlyn Murphy and grandson Grant Murphy (Gene and Ann) all of Pensacola, FL. His family brightened his days and warmed his heart, the best any Grandparent could ever hope for.
Because of their declining years, Gene, Alva and Paula moved to Milton, FL to be closer to their son Gene II. He will be missed by his wife and family who loved him dearly. The family would like to thank Emerald Coast Hospice for their kind devotion to Gene and his family. Without their loving kindness and professional assistance, we would not have made it. Please omit giving flowers online, instead give a love offering to Emerald Coast Hospice of Milton, FL (5536 Stewart St, Milton, FL 32570). When sending a love offering please indicate Gene L. Belser, Sr.
His family held a Memorial Service for him on May 13, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. CST at the Barrancas National Cemetery located at Naval Air Station (NAS), Pensacola, FL. Lunch was served afterwards in the Belser home to those of the family and friends who attended.
FOOTBALL, JR. -
If fall high school football is the papa then spring football is the young child as high school teams in Florida seek to get a glimpse into what the fall season may hold.
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