Evan Blair Rice, 75, deceased March 12, 2019, recently of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Brookdale Assisted Living, previously of Maplewood NJ, New York City, and Gambier, Ohio. Survived by sister Elise Jean Rice Payne (Tom) of Wayne, PA, and nephews Jeffrey S. Payne and Tom Alan Payne, Jr. He will be most remembered that he loved life, his family and his various champion cats, and that he was always friendly and made friends easily. Evan graduated from Columbia University, BA, MA, and during a time of his mother’s illness had briefly attended Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. His mother, Kathryn Clark Rice, was a professor of art there and his previously deceased father, Philip Blair Rice was Guy Despard Goff Professor of Philosophy and Editor of the Kenyon Review. Evan was a life-long devotee of classical literature from the age of eleven when he would sit in his father’s study and read Homer, Greek classics, et all. When very young he played Mustard Seed in A Mid Summer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare at Kenyon College with all costumes designed by his mother. This minor role led to a life-long love of anything Shakespeare. In high school he was in the play As You Like It. His master’s degree thesis concerned the relationship of Shakespeare’s later writings to classical literature. As a loyal New York City long time employee of the Associated Press he was able to assist in the New Jersey office on his day off to help disseminate the news on the day of Nine Eleven when the NYC AP office was effectively shut down. He developed loyal friendships wherever he was. As he traveled much of the world especially Greece, he honed his linguistic skill of Greek, his second most favorite language. He also traveled solo in much of Europe and South America conversing easily in Spanish and French, as well as other languages. Evan became accomplished at raising exotic cats, especially Abyssinians, Egyptian Maus, and Bengals, a cross between Egyptian Maus and Asian Leopard Cats (Wilds). Among the multitude of national and international awards won by his various cats were the Patch Award, by TICA International for best Alter of the Year 1995-96, and the Patch Award 1995 for the NE Regional Best Alter for SGC Azala’s Moonlight Cavalcade. Evan had battled declining health in the last few years with heart related issues and with what was recently diagnosed as primary lateral sclerosis, a degenerative neurological condition. Many thanks go to his friends Lynn, Larry, Dixie, Carlyn, Sari, Lorinda, Kim, Martha, Dick, and many others who so enriched and enlivened his life. Evan was a very special person and will be sorely missed by us all. A celebration of his life will be held in The Church of the Holy Spirit, Gambier, Ohio on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 2pm. Flowers may be brought to the church at that time.
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