Edwin W. “Bootsie” Rice

Edwin W. “Bootsie” Rice

REEDVILLE—Edwin Warner “Bootsie” Rice was content and satisfied when he left the world on January 1, 2023, as he had entered it, at home and surrounded by those he loved.

Edwin was born May 28, 1928, in his grandparents’ home, Belle Aire Farm in Middlesex County. The first child of Charles Herbert Rice and Lydia Bristow Rice, of Fleeton, he was born into a family of boat builders, and as he grew up, he was fascinated by the ships and schooners that anchored each night off Fleeton Point. In 1930, his grandfather Edwin Catesby built a Chesapeake Bay buyboat and named it the Edwin Warner Rice.

His father’s family owned the Fleeton Hotel, and Edwin grew up there with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all living under one roof. As a teenager, his jobs included working at Smith’s Boat Yard and at canning factories and delivering magazines by bicycle from Fleeton to Reedville.

After graduation from Reedville High School, he enrolled at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) and was a member of the Corp of Cadets. Upon his graduation from VPI in 1949, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served until 1952.

Edwin returned to Reedville and wed the beautiful Ann Carey Biddlecomb in 1953. There Bootsie and Ann built a home, a family, and life together. After 30 years of marriage, he lost his beloved Ann to a long battle with cancer.

Edwin’s early career was in banking, and he was head teller at the Peoples Bank of Reedville. In 1967, he became a licensed realtor, and for the rest of his career he remained in real estate as a broker and company owner, holding a current brokers license until July 2022. He was a founding member of the Northern Neck Board of Realtors and held the office of president in 1970, and served numerous years as board director and MLS committee member.

Active in the community, he was a member of the Fairfields Volunteer Fire Department, a board member of the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum and Chesapeake Academy, a Boy Scout leader, and a founding member of the Northumberland County Lions Club.

After the loss of his wife Ann, Edwin became a friend and companion to Virginia Croswell. He supported Virginia as they cared for her four grandsons, who he affectionately called “The Boys.”

Edwin was known throughout the community as Ed, Bootsie, Boots, and Boodad, and had “special” seats in local restaurants and ice cream shops. He loved a good conversation with anyone wanting to hear the history of Reedville and the people who lived in it. His knowledge of boats, from sailboats to steamboats, was extensive, and he was a life-long student of maritime history. In recent years he was fond of buying donuts and shopping at vegetable stands and distributing the food to his lady friends. He also enjoyed riding shotgun around the Northern Neck with friends and family. He loved dogs and carried dog treats to distribute around town.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ann; his mother; father; and brother, Charlie; and friend, Virginia.

Edwin is survived by his sister, Leanna Rice Hicks; daughter, Lydia Frances Haynie (Vincent); son, Alfred Warner Rice (Alice); grandsons, Emory (Samantha) and Samuel Haynie; granddaughters, Emily, Rachel and Ann Rice; and “The Boys,” Thomas Paul, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Croswell. Much of his family lived near him in Reedville and was able to share in his life until the end.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Edwin Warner Rice to The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum, rfmuseum.org or to Smith Island United, c/o Treasurer, P.O. Box 40, Ewell, MD 21824, smithislandunited.com. The latter was a cause Bootsie supported after last year’s tornado on the island because when he was a young boy living on the third floor of the Fleeton Hotel, it was hit by a tornado spawned during the hurricane of 1938. The hotel chimney toppled as the hotel was lifted off its foundation. While no one was hurt that night, he never forgot the sound or the feeling.

Bootsie’s last year was difficult for him as he became less independent, but he always had a positive attitude and something nice to say to the ladies. His family thanks the community that embraced him and loved him. His thoughtfulness and positive attitude will be missed by young and old alike. See you later, Boodad!

Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, January 6, at Roseland Cemetery, Reedville.

Family will receive friends from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, January 5, at Currie Funeral Home, Kilmarnock.