The ACE Think Tank at the Oregon State Penitentiary and the University of Oregon’s Prison Education Program note with deep sorrow the recent passing of Marc Trice, one of our founding members. From the inception of ACE in 2010 through his release in 2015, Marc was a pillar of strength and inspiration, and one of our most consistently joyful members. From the earliest days of his incarceration at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Marc sought to make a positive contribution to those around him and to the community beyond the walls, a spirit that continued unabated when he transferred to OSP. Marc earned his GED and an Associate’s Degree inside, and was a gateway to higher education for others – recruiting newcomers and influencing those around him to make time for learning. He was a participant in many of our Inside-Out classes and was a TA for a “Hip Hop” class through the English department. He was also involved in all of the Inside-Out Instructor Trainings that were held at Oregon State Penitentiary. Marc was a teacher by nature, and his steady voice and wisdom were invaluable in our classrooms and in the work of our think tank.
Marc became a skilled carpenter while inside, and though that provided him with employment upon release, his heart was in supporting youth whose paths called for positive influences. He began volunteering at the youth facility in which he had been incarcerated, and was always always available to the young men there; indeed, he told the staff to keep his number on their speed dial. Marc also found work in a clinic in his community, and there too he spent countless hours nurturing and supporting those in need. He remained close with the friends he had made on the inside, including other founding members of our think tank. A small group of them became avid fishermen once on the outside, and fishing was a constant topic of conversation and opportunity for carefree time spent in nature. His dream was to create a nonprofit to use fishing as a tool for mentoring and stability for folks in re-entry.
Just five years after his release, at the too young age of 43, Marc died in a car accident, believed to have been caused by a medical emergency. He leaves behind a grieving wife and family, and a broad community of friends and co-workers on both sides of the wall. He will be sorely missed, but we know that his memory will be for a blessing.
– Shaul Cohen, University of Oregon