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Longtime NDLS professor remembered for academic prowess, concern for students

February 27, 2015

Notre Dame Law School professor Charles E. Rice died Wednesday following an illness. Rice had been a member of the faculty since 1969 and was a noted expert in the area of natural law.

“God. Country. Notre Dame. Perhaps no man in recent memory has better embodied the motto inscribed over the door to the Sacred Heart Basilica than Professor Charles E. Rice. A devout Catholic, a marine, a professor, and a coach, Professor Rice did it all, and always with an abounding sense of humor and purpose,” Dean Nell Jessup Newton wrote in the announcement on the law school’s website of Rice’s death

Rice served as a consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil rights and to various congressional committees on constitutional issues, wrote books and articles and was a sought-after speaker.

Netwon said that Rice stood by his beliefs no matter what and was an outspoken advocate for the respect of life and worked to promote the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Students often were filled with dread waiting for him to call on them in class, Netwon explained, but at the same time, he had a legendary sense of humor. It also was not uncommon for students to call his home at all hours of the night who had experienced a family crisis or just had a question about torts, and he would answer the phone no matter the hour, according to his obituary.

He had been an emeritus faculty member in recent years, but taught current students as recently as last fall.

Rice was born in 1931 and received his B.A. degree from the College of the Holy Cross and his law degree from Boston College Law School. He is survived by his wife, Mary, his 10 children, and several grandchildren.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, with Rosary being said at 6 p.m. at Hahn’s Funeral Home in Mishawaka. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph Parish in Mishawaka.
 

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