SUNBURY - A heart attack claimed the life Sunbury area District Judge Carl B. Rice, a man described by Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley as "a good judge...a good friend."
Kelley said this afternoon that Rice, 49, was striken at his Sunbury area home with a cardiac event at about 8 a.m. today and was pronounced dead by a physician at the Sunbury Communty Hospital at 9:07 a.m. The death has been ruled natural.
Northumberland County President Judge Robert B. Sacavage said this morning that a county trial scheduled for this morning was postponed because many county personnel were devastated by the news of Rice's death. The Sunbury magisterial office will be closed until next Wednesday and flags in the county have been lowered to half staff.
A former assistant Northumberland County district attorney, Judge Rice was nominated by Gov. Ed. Rendell to fill the District Judge position in 2005.
An Upper Augusta Township resident, Judge Rice was a fourth-generation Sunbury attorney. His great-grandfather Francis Witmer, grandfather Carl Rice and father Francis W. Rice were attorneys. His grandfather and father were assistant district attorneys.
He was a member of the Northumberland County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Narcotic Officers Association, an associate of the Fraternal Order of Police in Shamokin, solicitor of the Eastern States Vice Investigators Association, solicitor of the Point Township Zoning Hearing Board, and a member of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, Americus Hose Company, Kiwanis and the Masonic Lodge. He is a past exalted ruler of Sunbury Elks Lodge 267.
He was a graduate of Shikellamy High School, attended Penn State and received a bachelor in health science with a paramedic emphasis from West Chester University. He worked as a paramedic three and a half years in the Philadelphia area. He is a graduate of Dickinson School of Law.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.