Saturday, 23 October 2021

Donald Gene Brice, 1929-2008

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Donald Brice had a passion for motor sports, on and off the water. Courtesy photo.
 

 

 

Donald Gene Brice was born on Aug. 5, 1929, in Cove, Ark., and passed away peacefully at his home in Chino Hills, Calif., on Oct. 25, 2008.


He attended California’s Burbank High School and graduated from Sonora High School. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956-58 stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. Image


He ran his business, Brice Engineering, from 1967 and continued to work in the machining business until he retired in the spring 2008. His son, Keith, continues to run Brice Engineering in Lakeport.


Don was an accomplished machinist and innovator. He was introduced to water ski racing in the late 1950s and hand-built his first ski race boat, an 18-foot Rayson Craft named “Goosebumps,” in 1961.


During this period in his life, Don was actively involved with working on the Offenhaeuser powered Novi Indy Car Team and was partially responsible for the success of Lee Taylor’s “Hustler” jet boat world record run of 286.875 miles per hour, as Don personally installed the throttle mechanisms for this achievement.


He was also instrumental in introducing the late great Ray Caselli, blown fuel flat bottom icon and close personal friend, to drag boat racing in the early sixties. Another key achievement around this time, was building the first prototype Arneson pool sweep units for inventor Howard Arneson of San Rafael, Calif.


Don had a passion for motor sports and was an accomplished drag boat racer with the National Drag Boat Racing Association in conjunction with becoming a National Champion boat racer and elected official and founding member of the National Speedboat and Water Ski Racing Association. He served on the board of directors as a Commodore for many ski racing organizations. He loved dirt bike riding, driving his dune buggies and, in more recent years, enjoyed piloting his Seadoo as well as his golf cart with his two dogs on board. He was also a member of the Long Beach, Los Angeles and Marina boat and ski clubs.


Don and his family have vacationed and competed in ski racing events in Lakeport since the early 1960s. He loved Lakeport and all the many friends he made here.


He is survived by his loving companion of 32 years, Judith Cotner, of Chino Hills, Calif.; son and daughter-in-law, Keith and Dawna Brice of Lakeport, Calif.; daughter, Susan Rasmussen of South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; daughter, Cristy Brice of Lucerne, Calif.; stepdaughters and sons-in-laws, Rhonda and Gary Hardasty of Chino Hills, Michelle and Phil Kramer of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Melissa and Paul Rivera of Yorba Linda; grandchildren, Shiloh and Kura Brice, Ryan and Sarah Rasmussen, Jason Kramer and Amy King, Jeremy and Amanda Hardasty, and Lauren, Michelle, Crystal, Valerie and Jordan Rivera; great-grandchildren, Emily and Kayla, as well as many nieces and nephews and other family relatives including brother-in-law, Jeff Young of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.


He was preceded in death by ex-wife Joanie Brice, and mother and stepfather, Effie and Paul Piltz of Big Oak Flat, Calif.


Family services will be held in the spring of 2009 at Lake Havasu Landing where Don and Judy had a second home. They both had many friends and cherished memories there.


Family and friends have decided to purchase a lamp post in downtown Lakeport.


Donations can be made to the “Don Brice Memorial Lamp Post Fund” at Savings Bank of Mendocino County, P.O. Box 156, Lakeport, CA 95453.


Don has the “pole position” secured at the newly dedicated “boat racer alley” on First Street next to Library Park in Lakeport.


“Big Daddy Don” will always live on in our hearts.


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Upcoming Calendar

23Oct
10.23.2021 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Rodman Preserve Saturday self-guided walks
23Oct
10.23.2021 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Prescription Drug Take Back Day
23Oct
10.23.2021 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Northshore Fall Festival
23Oct
10.23.2021 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Luau on the Lake
25Oct
10.25.2021 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Lake County 29'ers Cribbage Club Meeting
26Oct
10.26.2021 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
27Oct
10.27.2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thompson virtual town hall
28Oct
10.28.2021 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
30Oct
10.30.2021 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Rodman Preserve Saturday self-guided walks
31Oct
10.31.2021
Halloween

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