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In Memoriam — Deacon Frank Bice ’77

Kelly Slonaker

It is with deep sadness that we inform the Canterbury community that Deacon Frank Bice '77 passed away the morning of January 1, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. Frank was a cherished member of the Canterbury family as an alumnus, teacher, coach, advisor, and colleague. Above all, Frank was a friend to all and a mentor to many. 

Hailing from Manhasset, NY, Frank arrived at Canterbury in the fall of 1975 as a Fifth Former. While a student, he was a proctor in Sheehan House, captained the lacrosse team, earned All-New England Lacrosse Honors, and spent a summer studying in Salamanca, Spain. He went on to graduate from Siena College, where he played football and lacrosse, and was later inducted into Siena’s Athletics Hall of Fame. During his senior year of college, he sustained a debilitating football injury that resulted in paralysis. An unshakable optimist and man of faith, Frank chose to draw strength from his injury and to live his life with positivity and gratitude, encouraging others to do the same. 

Also a lifelong academic, Frank received a master’s degree in theology and pastoral studies from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY, and went on to receive a second master’s degree in religion from Yale University, CT.

A Deacon of the Catholic Church, Frank penned two books and taught theology at Canterbury from 1991-1995. He returned to the School in 2015 as co-chair of the Theology Department and coach of football, girls’ basketball, and girls’ lacrosse. A three-time yearbook dedicatee, Frank’s impact on students, faculty, and alumni alike was evident. His calming presence radiated, and he was always available to listen with genuine care and interest. Head of School Rachel Stone remarked: “Frank modeled hope and resilience to our students each day and inspired us all with his bright outlook on life. His kindness, empathy, and generosity of spirit touched everyone around him. He (and his beloved dog, Kelly) will be greatly missed.” 

Fellow Canterbury alumnus and Associate Head of School for Operations Pete Cotier ‘86 shared, “Frank was a warm-hearted, humorous, and motivational teacher who was extremely gifted at connecting with both students and colleagues. He was our greatest champion, always believing in us and making us believe in ourselves.”

Since 2014, Frank founded and served as president of The Cranwell Foundation, a philanthropic organization established to support young people in need of scholarship opportunities and institutions he believed were benefiting the world. Among the individuals and groups supported—Canterbury included—the foundation directed contributions to the Sisters of Life, a religious order of women based in New York City. 

Information on funeral services can be found here. Canterbury will hold a memorial Mass for Frank in the Chapel of Our Lady in spring 2020. Details will be shared at a later date. 

Rachel Stone concluded: “Frank embodied the essence of our School and was one of the finest examples of living and leading by our Five Values. Indeed, a true Saint.”