In the Loop
Alumni News : Feb 14, 2019

Art of Love: David and Jeri Rice

By Sunny Khan (BA History ‘19)

In the summer of 1974, David met his future wife at the most unlikely of places: McDonald’s. David had just completed his freshman year at UF, and Jeri had just graduated high school. She had already been working at the McDonald’s in Vero Beach, Florida, when David began his summer job there in July.

“I thought Jeri was rather cute (especially since she didn't have a boyfriend),” David said.

During the summer, David (BSPE ‘78) asked Jeri (BSADV ‘78) out on a few dates. They had a lot of shared interests that included music, photography, sports and traveling. Jeri had been accepted to UF and planned to start in the fall.

David left Vero Beach a week before school began for the band camp rehearsals with the Gator Marching Band. Move-in for the general student population was in the middle of that week. After one of the practices, David was talking to fellow “Bones” (trombone players), and one of guys mentioned seeing a girl on the sideline.

David casually looked her way and recognized Jeri. He wondered why she was there, and she told him she had nothing better to do then check out Gator Band. The couple went to dinner after.

Fast forward 40 years, the couple reside in Round Rock, Texas, where they are involved in the Lone Star Gator Club. Even though they are a little far from Florida, they remain great friends with the Gator Bones and their families and have traveled back to Gainesville for Gator Band Alumni weekends. They anticipate returning this year as well.

The secret to their long lasting love?

“Become friends,” David said. “Jeri and I dated for four years prior to getting married. We have developed a great friendship, trust, respect, and love for each other. It has helped us many times over the past 40 years!"