Dorla J. Rice, 1929-2020

Dorla J. Rice
Dorla J. Rice, 1929-2020. Photo provided

GRAFTON, Vt. – Dorla June Rice, 90, of Wright Orchard Road, died Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 at the Springfield Health & Rehab Center. She was to be there only for a two-week respite period while her son had hernia surgery.

She was born Sept. 19, 1929, the daughter of Clarence and Evelyn Derby of Keene, N.H. She grew up in the Swanzey and Troy, N.H. areas where she met and married Melvin B. Rice. Dorla worked for many years at Troy Woolen Mills then later worked at American Optical in Keene, N.H.

In 1969 Melvin and Dorla and son James moved to Grafton, Vt. They established and built their new home on Wright Orchard Road. She loved working on their property, keeping it groomed, growing various beautiful gladiolas and other flowers. A huge vegetable garden was always a plus. Dorla worked locally as a house cleaner for Dr. David Stewart, the Chapman Family, and Marge Hindel. She was incredibly skilled at crocheting and knitting. She made many presents for all her family and friends. She also took orders for her work. She loved her TV game shows like Cash Cab and Jeopardy, and also doing crossword puzzles. She and her witty, almost sassy, personality will be missed by all – including her familiar sayings like “Really” and “Good grief!

Dorla was predeceased by her husband Melvin Sr. in 1995 and her daughter Donna Marie in 1988. She leaves her son James Elliot Rice and wife Dolores; stepson Melvin Rice Jr. of Rockingham; grandchildren Kelly Perkoski and husband Steve, Katie Rice, William Wolski, Jon Wolski; step-grandson Stuart Rice; and five great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by grandchildren Erick Wolski and step grandchild Shelley Dodge.

There will be a graveside service in the Houghtonville Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are in the care of Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home.

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