Ralph Leslie Rice, Jr.

Ralph Leslie Rice, Jr.


Ralph Leslie Rice, Jr., born September 29, 1927 passed peacefully in his home on April 26, 2022 at the age of 94.

Ralph is preceded in death by his second wife, Erica Dods Rice (2/8/2022), first wife, Mary Bess Rice (5/31/2004), his father and mother, Ralph Leslie and Velma J. Thompson-Rice, and his siblings, Donald, Lenora, Phillip and Sharon.

He is survived by Douglas and Tracy Dods of Maryland.

Ralph was a graduate of Berkeley Springs High School, Class of 1945.

He was best known as the “Soda Jerk” at a local ice cream shop in town. He was also known to be a great dancer and always wore a white, ironed, collared shirt. He loved big gatherings of people and celebrations.

He was a World War II veteran, joining the United States Navy in 1945 and served as a yeoman. When he returned from duty, he traveled some and began a career in bridge building.

He was a lifelong member of Local 16 International Association of Bridge Structural Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union. He was most proud of the work he did on the Annapolis Bridge in Maryland and often counted steps as a way to achieve relaxation in times of stress.

Ralph was an avid outdoorsman, spending days hunting deer, ducks, and fishing. He loved camping at Sleepy Creek Lake with friends. His other favorite pastime was collecting guns and rifles.

He was a member of the American Legion Alderton-Dawson Post 60 and cherished his friendships through the Legion.

Ralph was very pleased with all who provided 24 hour care for him over the last three years.

He always had a great sense of humor and a huge appetite – not only for food, but life itself.

His caregivers were Terri Bliziotes, RN, Heather Morgan, Holly Patterson, Diane Rankin, Marni Affeldt and Kalina Shoop. They shared their talents, children and pets to keep life lively and interesting. Ralph always appreciated the support and care of Dr. Andrew Berens over the years. He is thankful for the services of the Hospice of the Panhandle.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that donations be made in Ralph’s name to a veteran organization of your choice.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Ralph L. Rice, on Saturday, May 21. The Celebration will take place at Alderton-Dawson American Legion Post 60, 527 North Washington Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. 25411, starting at 1 p.m. Friends and acquaintances welcome.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements are being handled by Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 95 Union Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.