DONALD LLOYD RICE
11/22/1939 – 11/04/2023
Donald Lloyd Rice has always lived life on his own terms and transitioning from this earth was no different as all his friends and family can attest to!
Born on November 22, 1939, first name Donald was soon dropped and he went by Lloyd. He was raised on the family farm north of Blue Mound, Illinois under the parental guidance of Wayne Curtis Rice and Lois Ada Zimmerman Rice. Lloyd attended local schools followed by two years at Millikin University in Decatur.
He then moved to Pasadena, California Cal Tech campus to begin a life enriched with academic learning, foreign languages and the life long skills used for computer programming. During this time, with two friends he traveled to Europe to practice Spanish, German and Swedish as they worked odd jobs from country to country. In 1964, while in Sweden, his family contacted him of the arrival of a draft notice requiring him to return and enlist in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Hood in Texas and assigned the duty of driving Patton M60 Tanks.
In 1966 he was honorably discharged and returned to University but now at UCLA, Los Angeles, where he focused on Linguistic Articulation and Computer Programming. One project he was particularly proud of was his software contribution used on the Mariner 67 Mission to Venus while he was working in conjunction with the Jet Propulsion Lab.
Later, while working at UCLA’s Phonetics Lab, a Hollywood Production Company approached the department and asked for an expert to analyze the ”authentic” recorded sounds of a Big Foot creature in the wild captured by some local hunters. Lloyd was chosen as the person to go on camera and use the department’s highly technical equipment to verify possible authenticity of physical sounds coming from such a creature. The DVD documentary was called ‘Mysterious Monsters’ and was hosted by Peter Graves. Lloyd’s on-screen character was given the title and name: Dr. Robert Sheldon and of course the ‘expert analysis’ was filled with technical jargon with no scientific substance but it satisfied and supported the theory of existence of ‘this’ Big Foot!
Lloyd graduated with a B.A. Degree in Linguistics in 1969 and shortly after became an active member of the Acoustical Society of America. With a school friend, he started a small company called Computalker Consultants which manufactured a speech synthesizer board for the personal computer market. The personal computer changed drastically during these days and outpaced Computalker’s board so the company dissolved.
In 1988, Lloyd then started writing signal processing software for a speech recognizing system designed by Speech Systems Inc.. The company had its name changed to Syvox and was purchased by a consortium located in Boulder, Co and Lloyd was given the opportunity to move with the company and work for several years until he retired in 1999.
This was a good time for Lloyd to become more involved with the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) where he reviewed patents each month and wrote reviews for the Journal of Acoustical Society of America. With his advanced skills in computer programming, Lloyd developed a major software package using neural network skills that enabled his computer to search for U.S. Patents and process the reviews more efficiently and faster. He later served as co-editor, then editor of the Journal of Acoustical Society for many years.
Lloyd’s passion for computers and time spent on them filled his days. When not working long hours for ASA monthly reviews, he would use his ingrained traditional programming skills to make spreadsheets and logistic tables for everything that could be charted including all household systems, personal data and his many topics of interest. He would then convert all these files to PostScript using command line prompts to talk to his office-sized Toshiba Printer. The now paper files were meticulously arranged into manila folders and placed in well-organized tall metal file cabinet drawers.
He mastered and wrote code in all the major languages put favored PERL and refused to upgrade off of Windows 7. He owned and used only traditional computers with towers, monitors and keyboards and would never even think about bringing a laptop contraption into his home.
One of his many computers was dedicated to monitor his whole house generator, as he never wanted a power outage to deny him access to his computers and he kept copious notes on the generator’s weekly Sunday morning automatic testing time. When analyzing the data, Lloyd identified a drifting geometric curve showing a slow-down of 20 seconds which both delighted and baffled him!
His back yard solar power bank also had a dedicated computer to register extensive data on electrical output and capacity, all of course related to sunny or cloudy days and the time of year.
Using his neighbors’ varied egg production, he photographed and diagrammed the curvature of individual shells to develop a formula of predictability for commercial identification in making egg storage units. He was never sure if his efforts where successful but he spent months dedicated to his oval subjects before he ate them.
Lloyd loved his electronics and even built an electrical-powered sensing device installed on his outdoor mail box to signal when new mail had arrived. He didn’t want to waste time walking out to the street since his postal delivery was so erratic.
Lloyd did take a little time away from his computers to attend the monthly meeting of the neighborhood Book Club with Dick and Val, Rachel, Doug and Tommy, and Robyn. His favorite topic was books on the brain but he cooperated with discussions on religious crusades, historical biographies and American Explorers and other Book Club topics. He also made a strong friendship with Dick and Val and their wonderful family who invited Lloyd for big family meals every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
He always enjoyed time on the phone with his longtime friend, Rick who also shared Lloyd’s love of linguistics, foreign language and travel.
He frequently used the special backyard gate installed for him to visit his old neighbors, Gary, Donna and Shannon. He would sometimes pop in their back door early and wait for them to come in the kitchen for their morning coffee, sometimes to the surprise of lovely Donna in her bathrobe!
Three times a week he would walk across the street at exactly 9:00 AM to have a timed mental competition with Mike and Lisette. The focus was completing the Boulder Camera daily puzzles: KEN-KEN, Sudoku and Crypto-quote. Once done with that activity, lively discussions would ensue about Artificial Intelligence, Alien Life Forms, the Brain, Intergalactic travel, Black Holes, Politics, Quantum Physics, Vole Holes in his back yard, The Knights Templar and of course the ongoing search for treasure on Oak Island…….
Other than his many friends, Lloyd leaves behind his midwestern family which includes his beloved sister, Delores, and six nieces: Michelle, Monica, Marla, Linda, Lisa and Lori.
Truly we have never met such a human being so comfortable in their own skin, meaning….Lloyd was Lloyd….and he followed his own ‘PROGRAM’ for living his life.
He truly was a very unique man who always did exactly what he wanted and when he could no longer enjoy his passions it was time to say…”SEE YA”!
Lloyd insisted on absolutely no funeral or memorial service. We honor that request. Think of him kindly and say your own goodbyes in your own way.
With sadness and empathy, we will miss him.
Michael and Lisette Walker