Shock of untimely death difficult to express

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Obituaries, like resumes, tell only the sketchiest details about a person’s life.

Jim “Jim-Bob” Rice had an adequate obituary appear in the U-B, but it no more told the story of him than dots on a connect-the-dots puzzle.

The piece could not begin to express the deep shock those of us who knew him felt when we heard of his untimely death, nor could it tell of how much we appreciated his goofy and brilliant wit, how he helped keep the spirit of Walla Walla Community College’s library team buoyant, how in the 22 years I knew him I never saw him impatient or in a bad mood, how he cheerfully helped thousands of students find sources they needed, how he loved dogs and dedicated money to the Humane Society in his will.

Because I was talking about retiring one day, I asked him if he ever thought of retirement.

“I probably never will,” he said with his usual subtle smile. Sadly for those of us who knew and loved him, he left in a way we never foresaw.

Michael Kiefel

Walla Walla

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