Courtenay car dealer gave back to community

Brian Rice passed away Friday

Brian Rice, third from right, is pictured in 2014 receiving the Pinnacle Award from Toyota Canada. File photo

Brian Rice, who owned the Rice Toyota car dealership in Courtenay, passed away on Friday, May 4. He was 62.

“He was quite a guy,” said his longtime friend Dr. Lyle Myrfield. “He came here 35 years ago. He raised a family here, ran a successful business here. When I think of him, I think of all the huge contributions he made to the community.”

Rice was a past-president of the Courtenay Rotary Club and the Comox Valley Chamber, and was involved in hospice.

“He was one of the ones who was instrumental in getting our hospice in town here,” Myrfield said. “His devotion to helping out the community was top rate. He’s one of those pillars of the community. He was an all-around good person.”

Finneron Hyundai president Mike Finneron proposed Rice for Courtenay Rotary in 1983.

“His father (Bob) had a Chevrolet dealership in Prince George,” Finneron said. “That’s how he got into the business. His father sold the business and then they bought the Toyota store in town here.”

Rice Toyota supported charities, and sponsored the arts, culture and sports. In 2014, shortly after the business celebrated its 31st year, it received the Pinnacle Award from Toyota Canada. The award is emblematic of excellence in customer satisfaction in sales and service. Rice Toyota had won the same award in 2008.

“Brian had a generous spirit and invested greatly in our community, supporting many initiatives and projects in the Comox Valley,” the Chamber said in a statement. He was nominated for the Chamber’s Business Leadership Award in 2017.

Rice is survived by his wife Carol, daughter Kristen, and sons Andrew and Derek.

Tributes flow in

Following are some comments about Rice on the Comox Valley Toyota Facebook page:

Comox Mayor Paul Ives: A life very well lived as a family man, an entrepreneur and dedicated community leader. He will be sorely missed by family, friends and all those in our community who benefitted from his service above self as a Rotarian.

Bill Burns: News I wasn’t expecting. My association with Brian was as a 4Runner buyer and more importantly as a fellow Rotarian. Skiing, golfing, family man. Brian lived a good life and gave back, making the world a better place.

Rick Barrs: I am so very sorry to hear this news. My very first job in the car business was with Brian. I am so very sorry for Carol and family. Brings back a lot of good memories. He helped turn me into the man I became. Almost 35 years of doing what I loved…. Selling cars and looking after all the local people. What a loss for the community and the automotive industry.

Deb McLean: I’m heart-broken over the loss of Brian, he was a good neighbour and will be deeply missed.

The following video was created and shared on Facebook by Comox Valley Toyota.

Just Posted

Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue kept busy across the province

CVGSAR had a busy week, sending rescuers as far away as Invermere

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read