Jim Rice served as mayor of Anacortes from 1982 until his death in 1991. Originally from Hatton, North Dakota, Jim moved to Seattle shortly after his high school graduation and was promptly drafted into the US Army during WWII. Jim was stationed in Seward Alaska with the Corps of Engineers. It was in Seward that Jim met his future wife Margie, a former Anacortes resident.
When the war was over, the young couple decided to make their home in Seattle where Jim studied the marine carpentry trade at Edison Technical School. Jim worked in Seattle for several years as a journeyman carpenter and was eventually hired by Don McKee, a Seattle architect and Anacortes High School classmate of Margie’s. When Mr. McKee returned to Anacortes, the Rice family followed. Jim eventually started his own general contracting business and built many of the homes and commercial buildings in Anacortes.
It was during the mid 1950s that Jim launched his political career when he was elected to fill a vacant city council seat. Throughout his nearly 40 years in politics, Mr. Rice served the citizens of Anacortes unselfishly. As mayor, Mr. Rice was proud of his efforts to pass a city-wide L.I.D. that resulted in the improvement and paving of most city streets, and of his efforts to improve the city’s urban renewal area. Jim is remembered by his family and many Anacortes citizens for his dedication to honesty and integrity while in office. Throughout his life, Jim’s Christian faith sustained him—he was a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church and some of the humanitarian deeds he performed as mayor were known at the time only to his family. On several occasions, for instance, he quietly paid property taxes or bought groceries for Anacortes citizens who needed some extra help.
Jim and Margie Rice understood the importance of education and were ardent supporters of the Anacortes schools. All four of their children graduated from Anacortes High School. Jim served on the Carpenter Apprenticeship Council and, for years, lobbied to require language and liberal arts education in the apprenticeship program. He was an active member of the Anacortes Elks, the Anacortes Eagles, Anacortes Rotary and the VFW. Mr. Rice passed away in 1991 and Margie established this scholarship fund in his honor.
- Financial need.
- Graduating senior boy or girl going to vocational school or college who manifests good citizenship in school, self-reliance and positive character.