Harold Frederick “Freddy” Rice, Jr.
Harold "Freddy" Rice, 83, a respected leader in the ranching and cattle industry, passed away peacefully on Maui on Friday, January 5, 2018 surrounded by his family. Freddy was born in 1934 and was raised on his family's ranch in Kaonoulu, Maui. He was proud to be a fifth-generation paniolo and a missionary family descendant of William Harrison and Mary Sophia Hyde Rice. Freddy graduated high school from Punahou School and started college at New Mexico Military Institute on a polo scholarship, where he won his first Intercollegiate National Polo Championship. Freddy then transferred to Cornell University where he won his second Intercollegiate National Polo Championship. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University where he had studied livestock marketing, agronomy, nutrition, and rangeland conservation. Freddy began his ranching career at the Hawaii Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) and Kahuku Ranch on the Big Island. Together with his first wife, Sally, he used applied science to design modern water and grazing systems while developing wildlife programs and soil-conserving ranching techniques. This included rotation fertilization, mineral supplementation, and the introduction of new species of grass and legumes to Hawaii all range management advances published by the University of Hawaii. Freddy and Sally were instrumental in the formation of the Kona-Kau Roping and Polo Club and the Hawaii Rodeo Association, which has promoted the sport of rodeo in the islands since the 1950's. Freddy played a pivotal role in the remarkable advancement of the horse industry in Hawaii: breeding, producing, and training various lines of the American Quarter Horse. Freddy had a long rodeo career which included many state championships in tie-down roping. He continued to compete in Team Roping and Polo Tournaments across Hawaii and the Continental U.S. until his final year. As a pioneering paniolo Freddy managed four different ranches on Maui and Hawaii Island. He was owner of FR Cattle Company operating in North Kohala, Waiono, Kukaiau Ranch, and Lalamilo. Freddy was also well-known as a World Class Sports Fishing Captain. He fished with Morton "Buster" D. May on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and in Cabo Blanco, Peru. As Owner and Captain on the "Malia" and the "Ihu Nui" in Kona, he had several International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) World Records. Including in the 1986 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT): a 1062 1/2 pound IGFA World Record on 50lb line for the Luna Niguel Team member, Gil Kraemer. He also captained two additional IGFA World Records with his first wife, Sally, and had a record for the youngest angler in the HIBT to catch a marlin which was his daughter Morag who was twelve at the time. He also won the Golden Goddess with his daughter Bonnie as the angler. While he was fishing with his son, McGrew, they caught over 100 marlin per year in Kona which was also a record. On February 23, 2000 Freddy realized a victory for all citizens of Hawaii in his landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case, "Rice vs. Cayetano". The decision affirmed that, under the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a state may not deny or abridge the right to vote on the account of race. Freddy Rice is survived by his children: F. McGrew Rice, Bonnie F. Rice, Morag R. Miranda, Sheena R. Golish, Lilah A. Ellis and hanai daughter, Sienna Rogers; his wife Gail Rice and first wife, Sally H. Rice; and his brother, Henry Rice. He is also survived by his ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A service on Maui will be held on Friday, February 9, 2018 from 4-5pm at the Makawao Cemetery, with reception to follow at 270 Olinda Road, Makawao. An additional service will be held on the Big Island, Friday, February 16, 2018, 4 p.m. at the Historic Pukalani Stables, Paniolo Heritage Center, Paniolo Preservation Society, with reception to follow. All services and receptions are open to the public. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Freddy's honor to The Harold "Freddy" Rice Sportsman Fund, 1099 Alakea Street, #2510, Honolulu, HI 96813. The legacy of Freddy will live on in this fund which will support organizations in rodeo, ranching, fishing, and polo.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased