Sylvia Dube Rice, 86, of Westerly, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, March 22, 2021. She was the loving wife of the late John T. Rice. Born on June 24, 1934 in Springfield, MA, she was the daughter of the late Stephen A. and Bertha (Anderson) Dube.
Sylvia met John, her best friend and love of her life, while attending Boston University. They married after her graduation and started their family. On a trip to Block Island in 1968, they discovered and fell in love with the town of Westerly, where they decided to raise their children. They happily settled in Shelter Harbor. Sylvia loved her neighborhood and the many lifelong friends she met there.
She had a long and distinguished career, as Supervisor of Home Health Services of Rhode Island, coordinating home health care and companion visits throughout southern Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut. She went the extra mile to ensure that all of her clients had the care that they needed. Her compassion and sense of community led her to her beloved church, Dunns Corners Community Church Presbyterian, where she was active for many years. She served as an Elder and a Deacon while contributing her time and talents to many committees. Even more importantly, Sylvia had an intuition for the needs of those around her, and she often reached out with fellowship and friendship to fellow congregants, many times when they needed it most.
She was active on several Boards of Directors, including the Westerly Adult Day Care Center, where she later taught art classes, and Habitat for Humanity, where she was a partner for many first time home owners, guiding them through the process.
Sylvia was a talented watercolor artist, and was a member of the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly for many years. She cherished the many friends that she met there. In her travels, she had the opportunity to paint in Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France, an experience she was particularly proud of.
Sylvia and John were skilled sailors, and they treated their children to many sailing adventures throughout the coast of New England. She loved her daily swims in Quonnie Pond, and her walks throughout the neighborhood. Mostly, she loved being with her family on the pond, at the beach and for so many happy family dinners.
In addition to her beloved husband, she was predeceased by her sister Carolyn Dewey. She leaves three children, Robin and Peter (Juliet), of Westerly and Martha (Constantin Caramiciu), of Charlestown, as well as her sister Mary Ellen Conlee, a niece and two nephews. She was lovingly known as “Lowie” (a nickname she acquired when, as a baby, her oldest granddaughter tried to imitate her exuberant “hello!”), by her six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Sylvia’s family would like to thank Orthocore Physical Therapy, Beacon Hospice and Home Instead for the wonderful care they provided.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Shelter Harbor Conservation Society or Dunns Corners Community Church Presbyterian.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 9, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Dunns Corners Community Church Presbyterian. Social distancing guidelines and other public health directives (i.e., use of facemasks) are in place. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St. Westerly, RI 02891.
For online condolences, please visit www.buckler-johnston.com
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