George Davenport Rice, 81, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the Tidewell Hospice Center in Bradenton, FL on Wednesday May 30, 2018. He died unexpectedly due to complications associated with a hematoma on the left side of his brain.
George’s career spanned 45 years serving the hospitality industry. In 1974, he started GDR Enterprises, Inc., his own consulting and research company where he developed the foodservice industry’s premier national consumer study to track consumer purchase behavior. He expanded that role to become the CEO of GDR/CREST Enterprises and Executive Vice President of The NPD Group. George was a two-term past Chairman of The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. He taught at The Hotel School, Cornell University and in 1993 formed a partnership with fellow Cornell University professor, Tom Kelly, known as Revenue Management Solutions (RMS). Under their leadership, RMS had grown dramatically with offices in Tampa, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo providing highly analytic econometric consulting services to over 40 large chain restaurant clients.
His retirement from corporate life allowed him to focus on what mattered most in his life: his family, golf, and his professional music (saxophone) career with music partner Joe Thayer, with whom he recorded two CDs. In the past number of years, George and Joe spent many nights entertaining fans at Mattison’s, and he also played with the GODD Squad at other local venues. George participated in music ministry at his parish, St. Thomas More Catholic Church. He and his wife Moira have enjoyed life in The Oaks in Osprey, FL in the winter months and Eastman Lakes in Grantham, NH in the summer.
George is survived by his wonderful wife of 50 years, Moira Kathleen (Quinn) Rice; his daughter Kimberly Anne Hofeldt and husband, Robert Lee of Manchester, MA; his son Robert Willard Rice and wife Jennifer Noel of Steubenville, OH; his eight grandchildren John Francis Rice (age 19), Summer Lee Hofeldt (19), Kolbe George Rice (18), Robert Thomas Rice (15), Elliana Therese Rice (13), Maria Mercedes Rice (10), Joseph Wisly Rice (10), and Aidan David Rice (4). He is also survived by his sister-in-law Georgia (Betty) Rice of Alexandria, VA, wife of his older brother, Robert Porter Rice, who passed away in 2014.
He will be remembered for his love of the Lord, music, life & family. The family is grateful that just two weeks before his passing they were all together to celebrate George and Moira’s 50th anniversary.
A viewing and funeral Mass for George will be held on Tuesday, June 5th, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Sarasota, FL. The viewing will begin at 9:30am and the Mass will begin at 11am. Funeral arrangements by: Farley Funeral Home in Venice.
***Please note all services are on Tuesday, June 5th! Not Wednesday!
Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Time: 9:30 am - 11:00 am