Ethan C. Rice, 28, died on January 14, 2015, due to the progression of cystic fibrosis.
Ethan was a singular individual whose intellect, curiosity, prickly wit, strength and creative gifts were woven into the fabric of his life from the beginning. Family and good friends were the threads that held his tapestry together.
Ethan jumped into all the usual growing up activities---T-ball, PAL football, paintball, school band playing trombone like his dad and older brother, Youth Court and Civil Air Patrol. Civil Air Patrol captured his interest and fueled his fascination with the military. One of his proud accomplishments was achieving rank of sergeant and being named cadet of the summer CAP encampment at Fort Drum. As a student of the Civil War, both World Wars and the Vietnam War his bookshelves held volumes dedicated to military history.
He attended Paul Smith’s College, North Country Community College and Clinton Community College and, while he was not able to complete his degree due to CF complications, he remained an avid life-long learner.
His love of music was eclectic and so dynamic. He experimented with sound and rhythm, wrote lyrics and melodies. He played rhythm guitar, mandolin and a little banjo. He attended any concert he could get to but haunted the Flaming Lips shows. Paul McCartney, BB King, Miles Davis and Neutral Milk Hotel were among his favorite artists and groups. On his massive “to-do” list was to make a album on vinyl of his original music. That he did. Lemon Gold and the Sneaky Snakes came to life with a little help and encouragement from his family and friends.
Ethan taught himself the art of stop-action film-making and claymation animation. The results reflected his world views and his particular brand of humor. A commentary was always forth-coming.
He was a student of the culinary arts even after he left Paul Smith’s College but was not above savoring the likes of Twizzlers, Vanilla Coke and Rosie’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky.
Ethan is survived by his parents, Edward C. and Edith Rice, his brother Devlin and Devlin’s partner, Reba Mitchell. He leaves behind aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of the state and country from California to the Buffalo area to Fredonia to the North Country-- Jennie (John, Johnna Beth) Pelkey, Margaret Bryan-Peterson (Amanda McDonald), Jeffrey Peterson, Emily (Holly Fernandes, Carrie) Latour, Sarah Irving, Ellen Irving, Kathleen (Ken) Gasta, the Merlino family, the Leichtenberger clan, the Hellman family and the Carter clan. He had recently become acquainted with his extended Buffalo family who embraced him with love and goodness.
At Ethan’s request, there will be no calling hours. Instead, Ethan wanted a gathering to celebrate a life well and truly lived. He simply wouldn’t allow a disease to diminish that life. To that end, we invite any and all family and friends to a get-together upstairs at the Monopole on Saturday, January 31st from 1:00-3:00 pm. Please come for food, drink and companionship. Leave a message for Ethan on a collaborative collage that he had always wanted to create. He will get back to you in the form of a memory, a smile, a laugh.
To light a memorial candle or send an online condolence, please visit