William Thomas Rice, 93, who served as president of three railroads and was instrumental in the founding of CSX Corp., died Feb. 5 in Richmond, Va., following a brief illness, the company said.
Rice began his career with the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1934 as a track supervisor. After active duty with the Army in World War 2, Rice joined the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad in 1946, and was named president in 1955. He was appointed president of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1957, and was elected president and director of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in 1967 following the merger of ACL and SCL.
Rice later served as chairman of SCL Industries, the merged company's parent, and chairman of The Family Lines, the amalgamation of SCL and Louisville & Nashville Railroad, among others.
Along with former CSX Chairman and Chief Executive, Hays T. Watkins, Rice was instrumental in creating the merger of SCL and the Chessie System to form CSX Corp. on Nov. 1, 1980. Rice served on the board of CSX, now the largest eastern rail carrier.
Rice was predeceased by his wife, Jaqueline, and his son, John Thomas Rice. He is survived by his daughter, Jaqueline Rice Heard, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Richmond.