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Susan F. (Phelps) Rice
June 10, 1938 ~ July 27, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
Read more about the life story of Susan and share your memory.
Susan Fay (Phelps) Rice passed away on July 27, 2023 at her home in Buckland, MA. She was 85 years old.
Sue was born in Greenfield on June 10, 1938, to Roger and Dorothy (Richardson) Phelps. She spent her early years in Colrain, before moving to Ashfield and graduating from Sanderson Academy. It was at Sanderson that she met and fell in love with her husband, Wesley Rice. She graduated from Becker Junior College in Worcester.
On September 10, 1959, she married Wes and moved with him to Ohio so he could complete his degree. In 1961, Sue, Wes, and daughter Susy returned to Massachusetts, settling in Springfield, where their two other children, Sally and Stephen, were born. Sue was a loving and nurturing mother and remained so throughout her life.
In 1972, the family moved to their brand new home in Buckland. Sue worked at the Hawlemont Elementary School as a Title I math tutor for several years, then as a secretary and receptionist at the West County Physicians office in Charlemont. When Dr. Robert Miller left to start his own practice, Sue served as his secretary and receptionist until her retirement in 2002.
Sue contributed to her community as a part of numerous committees. She was a longtime member of Trinity Church in Shelburne Falls where she served in a variety of leadership positions, worked on the garden team, and played in the handbell choir. She was president of the Mohawk Trail Regional High School Music Association, a member of the Buckland Bicentennial committee, and enjoyed volunteering at the Shelburne Falls Village Information Center in her retirement. Sue was, first and foremost, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.
She is survived by her husband of nearly sixty-four years, Wesley Rice, her children Susan (Michael) Mead of Charlemont, Sally (Scott) Rice-Lesure of Ashfield, and Stephen (Jennifer) Rice of Brattleboro, Vermont. In addition, she leaves six beloved grandchildren for whom she was a primary caregiver in their early years and who knew her as Grammie Sue: Aaron Mead, Lydia (Mead) Lively, Kayla (Rice) Schmidt, Molly Rice, Mae Rice-Lesure, and Guy Rice-Lesure, as well as three great grandchildren, Kaia and Willa Mead and Emmaline Sue Lively. She is also survived by three sisters, Margery (Robert) Wallner of Greenfield, Donna Lynch of New Hampshire, and Robin Phelps of Connecticut, as well as her sister-in-law, Priscilla Phelps of Greenfield. She was predeceased by her parents, and her brother, Daniel Phelps.
A celebration of Sue’s life will be held on August 26 at Trinity Church, 17 Severance St., Shelburne Falls at 2:30 p.m. with a reception in the fellowship hall to follow.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pioneer Valley Hospice & Palliative Care (pioneervalleyhospice.org), 329 Conway Street, Suite 2, Greenfield, MA 01301 or Cure PSP (psp.org), 325 Hudson St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10013. Cure PSP seeks to raise awareness, build community, improve care, and find a cure for progressive supranuclear palsy.