CLINTON — Thomas C. “Jock” Rayce, passed away March 10, 2014, at 11:35 a.m., in Vermillion Convalescent Center, after a brief illness. He was born April 15, 1920, in Clinton, to Thomas and Elizabeth Atkinson Rayce. Despite a tough, sparse childhood, Jock was well known as a good-natured, generous, kind and tolerant man.
During the 1930s, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and served in Vermillion County. He was then a coal miner at many area mines, including Green Valley near West Terre Haute, and the Bluebird Mine at Universal. He later became owner of Rayce’s Superette on South Fifth Street in Clinton, where, if you were hungry, he would give you a sandwich.
Jock was an active member of The First Christian Church in Clinton, which he joined in 1952. He served his church in many capacities, including being a member of the choir, as a deacon, as a trustee in the property department, helping with general upkeep of church properties and assisting with the preparation and serving of many meals and dinners.
He was part of the group that first bought Little League Baseball to the area, was a member of the City Parks and Recreation Board and Clinton Citizen of the Year in 2002. He also was a member of Masonic groups Jerusalem Lodge 99 of Clinton, the Scottish Rite of Terre Haute and was an honorary member of Job’s Daughters.
He enjoyed his church, gardening, fishing, golf and going to the Dairy Queen; always talking to everyone he met. He was able to enjoy all of these activities all of his years. He most enjoyed spending time with his family and took great pride in the activities, achievements and accomplishments and comings and goings of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He often encouraged his family, when they were leaving to go somewhere to “Take off like a herd of turtles.”
He is preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Marguerite Senick, Roberta Graber, Mary Davitto and Betty Holston; and his brother, William Rayce.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Alberta Sills Rayce, whom he married June 14, 1941; his sons, Jerry and Betty Rayce of Clinton, and Jack and Fran Rayce of Monroe, Mich.; grandchildren, Kimberly Young (Jeff) of Gibson City, Ill., Michael Rayce (Valerie) of rural Greencastle, Jeffrey Rayce (Kim) of Rochester Hills, Mich., and Laura Swisher (Zachary) of Powell, Ohio; nine great-grandchildren, Daniel (Kiley), Rachel, Joy and Andrew Young, Zachery Rayce, Natalie and Adam Rayce and Keelin and Isla Swisher; and many nieces and nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Frist Funeral Home, with a Masonic service at 7:30 p.m. Services will be 10 a.m. Friday, with the Rev. Danny Caulkins officiating. Burial will be at Roselawn Memorial Park, in Terre Haute. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The First Christian Church, 649 Blackman St., Clinton, IN 47842. Online condolences may be made at: www.fristfuneralhome.com