Search the Directory

Rev. Donald P. Brice

Deceased: 2023-03-07


Seminary Graduation Year: 1959

Father Donald Peter Brice, 92, died peacefully on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at Autumn Care Assisted Living in Farragut, Tennessee where he had resided since 2021. Father Brice was born August 31, 1931, in Wheeling, West Virginia to Tom and Marie Brice, who emigrated to the United States from Lebanon in 1910. He attended St. Alphonsus Church School, near the Brice family’s home in south Wheeling. The inspiration of the Capuchin priests he assisted as an altar boy led him to begin his journey to the priesthood.

At age 13, he left home for St. Fidelis Seminary in Herman, Pennsylvania. Later he studied at The Catholic University of America, St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, and at the North American College in Rome, where he was ordained in 1958. He returned to the U.S., and he served as a priest at parishes in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area for more than 60 years, including St. Jane Frances De Chantal Parish in Bethesda, St. Jude in Rockville, St. Margaret in Seat Pleasant, St. Jerome in Hyattsville, Holy Spirit in Forestville, and St. Patrick, Blessed Sacrament, St. Peter, and lastly, Annunciation Parish in Washington, where he served 18 years before retiring. For 24 years, he served on the Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Donald loved to travel, and spoke several languages. Travels included many trips to Germany to visit longtime friends he met via a pen pal relationship, visits to his mother’s siblings who lived in Brazil, and college reunions in Rome. He was an avid fan of the arts, and frequently attended performances of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Washington National Opera.

Known as Uncle Donald, to the many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews who adored him, he will be remembered for his relentlessly gentle and calm nature, clever wit, generosity, and boundless love for his family. Favorite memories include weekly visits to his mother and sister’s home in Arlington, Virginia, always with doughnuts in hand for hungry nephews. At large family gatherings, surrounded by dozens of loved ones, Uncle Donald would often declare, “This is heaven on earth.”

Following his retirement in 2010, Brice lived at the Cardinal O’Boyle residence in Washington, before moving to Knoxville, Tennessee to be near beloved niece Carol Allen and her daughters Melissa Foster, Jennifer Kuhn, and Becky Jones. The Allen family grew especially close to Uncle Donald when they previously lived in the Washington area.

In addition to his parents, Fr. Brice is preceded in death by his sisters Helen Johnson, Margaret “Deeba” Kennedy, Rosaline Bryson, Manell Brice, Sister Thomas Marie (Dolores), and brother Ed Bricee. He is survived by nieces Carol Allen, Dee Ann Gibbs, Cathy Pipkin, Judy Hunter, and Joan Olveda, and nephews Pat Bryson, Thomas Kennedy, Ed Kennedy, Pat Kennedy, Frank Bryson, Danny Bryson, Ed Bryson, Don Paul Kennedy, and Jeff Bryson.

A Rite of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 13, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Knoxville. A rite of Christian Burial will also be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church, Wheeling, West Virginia, on Thursday, March 16, followed by burial at Mt Calvary Cemetery also in Wheeling, West Virginia.