Published in the June 9, 2017 edition

Constance-Rice-obit-6-7-17-webMELROSE — Constance J. (Wilson) “Connie” Rice, 89, of Melrose and formerly of Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, passed away peacefully at Glen Ridge Nursing Care Center in Medford on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Constance was born in Medford on February 13, 1928, and was one of two daughters of the late Harry E. and Dorothy (Gordon) Wilson.

Constance was raised in Medford, where she graduated from Medford High School. She was married to the late Charles T. Rice and settled in North Reading with her family of three daughters. With a strong work ethic, Connie stayed busy working several jobs. For many years, she worked as a bookkeeper for her husband, who owned Rice Ignition in Medford, and Independent Oil Burner Service in Tuftonboro. She proudly worked part time in food service at Kingswood High School in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire; and worked at the antique shop in Tuftonboro, Dow’s Corner Shop. She was involved with the Reading Girl Scouts for 12 years when her daughters were young, and was an excellent seamstress as a creator of Ginny Doll clothing.

While home was North Reading for 18 years, Connie’s heart and mind were always at the family camp on Lane’s End in Melvin Village, New Hampshire. After spending summers at the camp along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee for many years, she and Charlie bought a home in Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, where they lived full time for 38 years. Connie lived for being outdoors with daily cross country skiing in the winter, hikes throughout the year, and summer days spent at the beach or swimming at the lake. She had a great appreciation for nature, with a love for walks in the woods and seeking out bird species throughout Tuftonboro. For many years, she was an active member of the Melvin Village Community Church and held the entirety of the Lake Winnipesaukee region near and dear to her heart.

Connie was the beloved wife of the late Charles T. Rice. She was the devoted mother of Susan T. Butler and her husband John of Teaticket; Sandra J. LaPerche and her husband Lee of Stoneham; and Sharlene A. VanRooy and her husband Frank of Hollister, California. She was the dear sister of the late Anne Thayer. She was the caring aunt of Laurel DiMatteo of Concord; Leslie Thayer of Swanzey, New Hampshire; and the late William Thayer. She was the cherished grandmother of John J. Butler, IV, Shennon Murray, Lesley Allen, Alison Lawson, and Amanda Bennett. She was the great-grandmother of Michaela, Ruby, Jenna, Valerie, Charlotte, and Shane.

Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Connie’s life for her funeral service at the Green Street Baptist Church, 179 Green St., Melrose on Wednesday, June 7 at 7 p.m. Gifts in Connie’s memory may be made to St. Joseph’s Indian School, 1301 N. Main St, Chamberlain, SD 57325. For online tribute, condolences or directions, visit