Lesley was born on Nov. 26, 1929, at Shelton, to Benjamin Marston and Enid Melvola (Parks) Rice. He graduated from Shelton High School in 1948.
On Dec. 27, 1950, he married Dixie Lea Michel in Shelton. They enjoyed one year in the Shelton community before Lesley was drafted into the Army on Jan. 2, 1952. He went to South Carolina for boot camp. He was stationed in Germany where he and Dixie would live for nearly two years. On Dec. 18, 1953, he was honorably discharged. They returned to the Shelton community. Lesley was employed by John Spahr in Kearney and later for Art Hilberg in plumbing and heating.
In 1976, Lesley and Dixie moved to Wallace and purchased the Wallace Hotel. For the next 27 years they operated the hotel together. After Lesley's retirement in 2001, they moved to a small acreage north of McCook.
Lesley was a craftsman and welder as well as an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed spending time with his children and especially time with his grandchildren.
He left to mourn his wife of 53 years, Dixie Rice of rural McCook; his son, Ray Rice and wife, Sherri, and their children, Benjamin, Rebecca, Caleb, Brandi and Elizabeth of Ravenna; his daughter, Leslie and husband, Tim Sivits, and their children, Zach, Adrienne, Amanda, Jacob, Abigail and Jillian of Culbertson; two sisters, Velma (Rice-Fisher) McClure of Modesto, Calif., and Betty (Rice) McClurkin of Newman Lake, Wash.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Benjamin and Enid Rice; two brothers, Clarence Rice and twin brother, Wesley Rice; and three sisters, Sylvia Peel-Brandt, Maxine Carr and Naomi Gipe.
Memorials may be given in his name.
Funeral services will be Friday, November 21, 2003, 10 a.m., at Carpenter Breland Chapel with Pastor Peter Peters officiating. Burial will be in Fort McPherson National Cemetery with Military Committal.
Visitation will be Wednesday 9-5 p.m. and Thursday 9-8 p.m.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.