Monday, November 14, 2016

Joan Rice in hospital cardiac care unit

Joan Rice & next-desk neighbor John Olesky
Joan Rice was my next-desk neighborhood at the BJ for 16 years in the Features Department.

When I was having a bad day, Joan was good to me and for me, chasing the gloomies away.

I think we were good for each other, too. We helped each other deal with management stupidity, or so it seemed to us at the time, and with our workloads.

Mary Beth Nord Breckenridge posted this:

“Please keep Joan Rice in your thoughts. She is hospitalized at Akron General for bone cancer and had a setback over the weekend that put her in the cardiac unit. She was able to have visitors before that, but I'm not sure about now.”
Joan’s identical twin, Marie, told me that Joan had been hospitalized three weeks before I went to the calling hours for Joan’s husband, Larry, on the Kent State campus Newman Center chapel on Friday. I decided not to post the information here till it became public elsewhere.
When I first came to Ol’ Blue Walls in 1969, I looked around and saw Joan Rice and Janis Froelich and said to myself, “Damn! Those are the two hottest women in the newsroom.” I know, that isn’t PC today, but Joan just stood out from the crowd. Not just in lucks. But in smarts. And being a good person.
The love of her life was “the cop that married Joan,” as I called Larry Momchilov. I would see Joan and Larry at Ravenna’s Guido’s Restaurant, a hole in the wall on Main Street with fabulous Italian food. They were married 36 years.
It was Joan who tipped me off to Guido’s when I asked her for an outstanding restaurant in the Rootstown area, where Joan spent her entire life. As usual, she didn't steer me wrong.
Larry passed away Sunday, November 6. Joan wasn’t at Larry’s calling hours because her breast cancer had metastasized into her bones.
Joan’s brother, Michelin executive vice president John Rice, passed away in 2012. Her other siblings are her twin, Marie Rice, and Nancy Rice Crouch. They are the children of Nancy and John Rice and grew up in Rootstown.
Larry was born in Barberton and was a Norton High graduate.
Joan is a Kent State graduate who began at the BJ February 14, 1966 and stayed for 35 years till the 2001 buyout that saw 501 years of Ol’ Blue Walls experience walk out the door forever, the beginning of inexorable staff cutbacks at the BJ that also decimated newspapers around America.
My prayers are with you, Joan. You helped me out more during my bad days at the BJ than anyone else. May God help you now.

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