Travis A. Rice, who worked in gay bars in both Baltimore and D.C., died May 3 in Baltimore. He was 27. The cause of death was not immediately available.
He was born Feb. 24, 1986 in Chambersburg, Pa., attended Spring Grove High School and graduated from York County High School. He was a swimmer since the age of 6, and swam on the varsity team in high school. A licensed scuba diver, he dove in the Florida Keys and off the coast of Mexico. Rice loved animals, especially his canine companion, Abby.
Rice moved to Baltimore for a period of time then to D.C. where he became a bartender and assistant manager at Cobalt. He returned to Baltimore two years ago where he worked as a bartender and then as assistant general manager at Grand Central.
His Facebook page quickly turned into a memorial as hundreds of comments expressing love and photos were posted on the day of his death alone. Several video tributes to Rice were also posted.
“I never really got a chance to know Travis for the two years that he worked at Grand Central as my general manager assistant,” said Don Davis, the owner of the club who now lives in Ft. Lauderdale. “Every time that I did get to Baltimore, Travis was always a real gentleman. I know he will be greatly missed by his many friends and family.”
Wendy Fox, owner of S.H.E. Productions, which produces events at Grand Central, was a close friend who worked with Rice. “Travis touched lives and hearts of so many people and will never be forgotten,” she said. “I am inspired to always treat people with respect, warmth and with open arms as he did daily. This is a tremendous loss for the Baltimore and D.C. community and we are heartbroken.”
Rice is survived by his father, Wayne B. Rice and companion Carol Myers of McSherrystown, Pa.; his mother Rebecca E. (Wentz) Rice and companion Allen Huff of Codorus, Pa.; his brother Matthew J. Rice of Codorus, Pa.; half sister, Trisha Tribby; paternal grandfather Fred E. Wentz and paternal great grandfather Russell A. Wentz; and step siblings Brian and Kelly Myers. He is also survived by many aunts, cousins, including special cousins Annie and Levi.
A service to celebrate and remember Rice’s life will be held 3 p.m., Tuesday, May 7 at the Kenworthy Funeral Home, Inc., 269 Fredrick St., Hanover, Pa., with Rev. Bonnie Wittier officiating. Burial will be in York Road Cemetery, Hanover, Pa. A viewing and time to share memories with the family will be held 1-3 p.m., May 7 at the funeral home. All of Rice’s Baltimore and D.C. friends and families are invited.
Memories and condolences may be shared at kenworthyfh.com.
There will be a celebration of his life at Grand Central, 1001 N. Charles St. in Baltimore on May 9. Organizers are asking “everyone to come together to share all of the beautiful memories you have created and shared with him and each other. This will keep him alive in our hearts and is meant to provide positive support to our community, his friends and family during this difficult time.” This event will take place beginning at 7 p.m.
After sundown, there will be a candlelight memorial outside of Grand Central where people will be able to leave a favorite picture, light a candle, or leave a note in memory of Rice.
Memorial contributions in Rice’s memory may be made to the York County SPCA, 3150 Susquehanna Trail, York, PA 17403.