Slain employee “taught everyone…to cherish each day”

The Sept. 25 shooting death of Flagler College employee John Rice stunned and saddened his co-workers at the college. In an act of kindness, Rice and his wife had recently taken in a 96-year-old aunt named Amanda Stevenson.
Police say Stephenson shot Rice in the chest with a .357-caliber handgun while he was in bed, then hid the gun outside the couple’s home in St. Augustine, Fla.
Officers arrested and jailed the woman on suspicion of murder. She had allegedly threatened Rice in the weeks before his death, Channel 4 in Jacksonville reported.
Rice joined Flagler College as a janitor in 1978, and was head of custodial services when he was killed. Laura Stevenson Dumas, director of College Relations, said in an email today:

John taught everyone he came in contact with to keep smiling and to cherish each day. John’s words are helping us get through this difficult time.

On Friday, college employees signed a photo of Rice. It was given to his family later in the day. The college newspaper, the Gargoyle, set up a page where friends and co-workers have been leaving comments about Rice.

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