At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
SPCA of SW Michigan
6955 West KL Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Boy Scouts of America-Southern Shores FSE
3914 Bestech RD
Ypsilanti, MI 48917
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Donald Dice had a strong sense of character, a wonderful sense of humor and loved his family greatly. He believed in the importance of teaching his children and grandchildren the values of being strong, being respectful and being responsible. He was a believer in all people and loved life! Don’s memories will be carried on through many generations to come and his warm spirit will be deeply missed.
The Roaring Twenties was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. With the media focused on jazz music and celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie figures, George and Mary (Fuscik) Dice welcomed home a newborn son, Donald born on June 24, 1926 in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Don was the oldest child and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. His father worked for a paper company and his mother worked at a local shoe factory. When the tough economic times of the Depression years hit, he and his sibling were separated. For a few years he went to live with his Uncle Fred and Aunt Grace, his grandparent’s sister. They had no children of their own and treated Don like a son, even buying him his own horse! Don was very involved in Boy Scouts as a kid and played football for Riley High School, where he later graduated. After high school, he volunteered for the Army and was in the Army Air Corps serving as military police and also as a mechanic. A proud recipient of the GI bill, Don went on to study business at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Spanish. During his college days, he was an active member of the Kappa Delta Rho and maintained strong relationships with his brothers from the fraternity for many years. During the summer months, he would return home to work at Studebaker. While working on the line, he was able to choose his very own car; a convertible! Don met the love of his life through his sister, Betty. Betty worked with Pat Lekarczyk and fixed the two of them up with a first date on the memorable New Year’s Eve of 1954. The two of them hit it off and were happily joined in marriage the summer of 1955 on July 23rd at St. Adalbert Catholic Church in South Bend. Together they raised four beautiful children; Judy, Jim, Diane and Karen.
Keeping with family tradition, he and Pat sent their children to Catholic Schools. Adult life consisted of working for Simon Brothers as a wholesale food representative to many area restaurants. The owner, Kurt Simon was a mentor to Don and a great influence. Later, when Don was assigned to the Kalamazoo area, he and Pat moved there. Throughout their years together, Don loved to take his family on memorable trips including camping in the Rocky Mountains, Canada, going out east and to California, many ski trips and countless vacations to Spider Lake in Traverse City, where they spent time in the summers and winters in the cottage Don and Pat built. The trips are remembered as always being adventurous. Don was a believer that, “friends come and go, but family is always there for you.” These trips were his way of celebrating that close bond that he and Pat shared with their children.
Don loved to ski, golf, and play tennis. He proudly taught all of his children and grandchildren how to ski. He remained active on the slopes until the age of 79. Not even an accident one year prior that sent him to the hospital and months of rehabilitation could alter his love of the mountains. He returned to Colorado the very next year to ski one last time.
Don’s strong sense of the importance of family was reflected in all his relationships, including a close connection to his great grandson. He looked forward to all of the special family get-togethers including birthday parties and celebrating holidays. Don and Pat were known to travel extensively. Some of the many places they traveled were to Hawaii, a trip across Canada, also to Europe and the Bahamas. He was an avid Chicago Bears football and Chicago Cubs baseball fan. His legacy will be his sense of humor and the special way he made each and every one of his family feel important to him. Sadly, Don died just a few days shy of his 90th birthday. His love of life and his wonderful sense of adventure will be deeply missed by his loved ones.
Don Dice, age 89, of Kalamazoo died on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Bronson Hospital. He was born on June 24, 1926 in Mishawaka, Indiana and has been a resident of Kalamazoo for the past 60 years. Don loved to laugh, travel, look at life as an adventure, and placed the values of family above all else. Learn more about Don by visiting with his family and friends on Thursday from 6-8 pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (375-2900). Services for Don will be at 1 pm on Friday at the same location and a lunch will be served immediately following in the Life Story Center. Don’s cremated remains will be buried at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Members of his family include his wife Pat, four children; Judy Dice of Marshall, James (Debra) Dice of Mitchell SD, Diane (Ronald) Chopp and Karen (Leonard) Mathis both of Plainwell. Other members of his family include his seven grandchildren; Gregory, Sara (Steve), Kelsey, Brady, Lauren, Zachary, Jenna, a great grandson, Jack Michael and his sister Elizabeth Welsh of California. Please visit Don’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to SPCA or Boy Scouts of America-Southern Shores FSE.