Memorial planned Tuesday for Jerry Rice, 72

Family and friends will gather next Tuesday to remember Jerry Rice. Here’s what they are sharing with the community:

Longtime West Seattle resident Jerry Rice, 72, of Olympia passed away on July 5th. He was born in Seattle to Howard and Ellade (Sinnett) Rice. He attended Holy Rosary School, St. Martin’s High School in Lacey, and graduated from Seattle University. Meeting and marrying the girl-almost-next-door, the love of his life, Barb Conlan, he gladly joined her large and boisterous family, and they became an important part of his life. After he and Barb raised their own family in West Seattle, they retired to Olympia in 2018, where they enjoyed kayaking, biking, and walking in nature.

Jerry was one of the kindest, most giving, and selfless individuals to walk the earth, with great personal integrity. He was a gifted mechanic, and helped many people throughout his life, both with their cars and in other ways — be they friends, family, or strangers. While sharing his talents generously, he always remained a humble soul. He loved animals, particularly cats, and in addition to being adored by his own felines, was “godfather” to assorted neighborhood cats who came to visit him.

His passion was classic Chevrolets, and he restored scores in his lifetime, his “baby” being a 1959 Chevy Impala. During the last year of his life, while undergoing chemo, he elected to take on a new project, and completely disassembled and restored a 1977 Chevy Nova. Jerry was not a man to sit idle, even while battling cancer. In addition to restoring cars, he was always eager to improve his homes, and with amazing skill created many beautiful updates and additions to both interiors and yards, including building huge decks at his Olympia lakefront home.

Jerry was preceded in death by his beloved son Matt. He leaves behind Barb, his wife of 41 years, and daughters Brigette and Katie. A funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Lacey on July 18th at 10 a.m. Any memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Jerry’s favorite charity.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

5 Replies to "Memorial planned Tuesday for Jerry Rice, 72"

  • Rick July 14, 2023 (9:59 am)

    Jerry was one heck of an auto mechanic (genius) and a good friend for over 40 years. I will miss him greatly.

  • Josh and Susanna Niederberger July 14, 2023 (12:00 pm)

    We were sad to see this. What a beautiful way to describe Jerry. Thanks for all the years good advice and great friendship Jerry.

  • Pat B July 15, 2023 (12:23 pm)

    It was an honor to stand up with Barb and Jerry at their wedding, and a privilege to count Jerry as a friend for over four decades.   He was the finest of  human beings,  and will be sorely missed.

  • Paul Pointer July 16, 2023 (2:18 pm)

    Jerry will definitely be missed.  Jerry attended the St.Martin’s HS reunion when last we saw each other.  He will be remembered as a thoughtful, generous, and kind friend.

  • Ernie Rosengren July 18, 2023 (4:42 pm)

    Jerry was one of a kind.  I only knew him for about 10 years, but wish it would have been longer.  My 1958 Oldsmobile would not be on the road today if not for Jerry.  After attending his service today I put the card from his service in the 58, and took a short drive in the Olds.  If there is a hereafter, Jerry is out there cruising in his 59 Impala convertible. 

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