TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — Dick Rice, the longest-serving meteorologist on local television in Northeast Mississippi, died from the coronavirus Saturday at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was 80.
Rice first appeared on local television in 1979 when WTVA hired him after his more than two decades in the U.S. Navy to do the weather for the morning and midday newscasts.
He eventually became the station's chief meteorologist and served in that role until he stepped away from his day-to-day duties in 2011. He served as chief meteorologist emeritus until his death.
The Massachusetts native one year earlier was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his more than 25 years of dedication to the television industry with his induction into its Silver Circle.
Rice, of Mooreville, entered the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame that same year.
His passing came two months after the death of his wife, Jill. They were married for 60 years.