McKinley Rice, Jr., was born on March 12, 1938 in Union, South Carolina to the late Marion Peake Rice and McKinley Rice. He transitioned to his new life on Sunday, May 1, 2016, after a lengthy illness.
“Ken” as he was fondly called, graduated from Sims High School in Union, South Carolina and while there, enjoyed an outstanding football career as a running back for the Sims High Tigers. During his senior year, he ran for 26 touchdowns. His accomplishments on the football field were numerous and his speedy running abilities led the Tigers to several statewide championships. He lettered in three sports, basketball, football and track. He excelled in running the 100 yard dash. Even with all of his athletic involvement and accomplishments, he was a good student.
At an early age, he dedicated his life to Christ at the Bethesda Baptist Church in Santuc, South Carolina. He later became a member of Monumental Baptist Church in Jersey City, New Jersey where he was a long time dedicated member.
Upon his arrival in New Jersey, Ken met the love of his life, Aileen Virginia Chandler, who preceded him in death, and they were united in marriage after a brief courtship. From this union, three children were born Shell, Brent and Kenny.
He served in the United States Army as a paratrooper.
Ken began his career at PSEG (Public Service Electricity and Gas) in New Jersey where he was one of the first African-Americans to hold the position of Senior Backhoe Operator. He received numerous awards and certificates for his outstanding work performance. He retired in 2006 after many years of dedicated service.
Ken was the founder and active member of the XGI Social Club of Jersey City, New Jersey since 2007. His favorite music was by the Famous Motown Artists. He loved fishing and was a sharp pool shooter. Ken was very generous and supportive to people in the neighborhood. He was a dedicated family man and excellent provider.
Ken leaves to cherish his memory: devoted daughter, Shell Rice (Christopher) Williams; and devoted sons Brent McKinley Rice (Amirah ), Kenneth Earl Rice and Don Mahoney; Eighteen grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; one sister, Elwillie Tucker of Jersey City, New Jersey (siblings, Gustan Rice George and Rubin Rice preceded him in death); three aunts, Mrs. Anna Simmons and Mrs. Inez Sartor both of Union, South Carolina and Mrs. Clara Latham of Baltimore, Maryland; one uncle, Rufus Norman (Minnie) of Baltimore, Maryland; four sisters-in-law, Brenda Jackson, Carol Anderson, Altamease and Regina Chandler; three brothers-in-law, Cunis George, Jerry Chandler all of New Jersey and Robert Chandler of San Antonio, Texas; special daughter Amirah Davis and Uncle Jerry who provided unconditional support during Ken’s illness. His extended family includes numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.