Jaden Keith Rice, whose name means God has heard, was an artistic, loving, athletic, tender-hearted, unique and bold young man. Jaden was not shy about standing out and standing up for what he believed in. He not only marched to the beat of his own drum but he refurbished the drum from a second-hand store and created his own eclectic beat and poem to march to with his own stride, gait and step. Jaden was Jaden. He did it his way. He was a natural entrepreneur. Always thinking outside the box, he began his first very successful business of baking in high school. After high school, he launched his natural hair care business with his much loved cousin, Quentin.
Jaden was always searching, growing and thinking of the under dog. He was the person rooting for the smallest and weakest player on the team, running beside them until they finished their laps. He once gave his brand new Jordan's away to a school mate who couldn't afford to purchase them due to his shoe size and the cost in general. Learning that the kid wore the same size as himself, size 15, Jaden was excited to gift him the shoes that he had just purchased with the money he'd earned from his business.
Jaden was a proud member of the LGBTQ-plus community. As a pansexual Black young man, it was the heart and soul of a person that attracted him not just the outward appearance.
Jaden was so many beautiful things. Yes, he was a champion wrestler, placing fourth in the state of Michigan in his heavy weight division. He also broke Belleville High School's pin record, getting 40 pins in a school year. But Jaden was so much more than that. He loved his family deeply and loved his friends. He was our gentle giant.
Jaden lost his battle with depression, leaving by suicide on April 19, 2021, only 16 months after his older brother and best friend, Josiah. They were both 20 years old at the time of their departures.
Jaden, you were determined to be authentically you as you wandered in discovery to find the richness of that space of being.
You encased yourself in colors of splendor throwing away shackles of gender. You were you. Bold. Resilient. Fragile. Strong. Beautiful. Tender. A winner. Complex. Defiant. A feather . Lightning. A flower. My baby.
I will love you forever and always and every moment between!