Edith L. Rice

PORTLAND — Edith Luella Meserve Rice, 88, formerly of South Portland, passed away from Alzheimer’s disease on May 20, 2012, at the Barron Center in Portland.

Mrs. Rice was born in Hiram, the daughter of Harry Douglass and Pearl Marion Lombard Meserve. She was educated in Hiram schools and was valedictorian of Porter High School in 1942. She later graduated from Gorham State Teachers College in 1946, became a certified Lip Reading Teacher in 1950 and received her master’s degree in Education from the University of Maine in Orono in 1966.

On Aug. 16, 1946, she married Richard Nash Rice in South Hiram. He passed away in 1991 after 45 years of marriage.

While she was in high school, Mrs. Rice worked at the Kezar Falls Woolen Mill. From 1946-1949, she was an elementary school teacher in Orono; from 1951-1952, she taught a Lip Reading Class at North School in Portland; from 1960-1961, she taught at the Hebrew Day School in Portland; and from 1950-1952 and 1961-1983, she was a teacher in the Portland public school system. She was especially proud of the science program that she developed for the Portland school system.

Mrs. Rice was a member of the Orono United Methodist Church, the Clark Memorial United Methodist Church in Portland and the First United Methodist Church in South Portland.

She volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Portland, knitted hats for the preemie babies in the NICU at Maine Medical Center, distributed food for Meals on Wheels, and served on many committees in her churches.

She was an avid and knowledgeable collector of books, stamps, postcards, rocks and minerals, shells, dishes, and porcelain cows. She was also a member of South Hiram 4-H Club, Porter High School Alumni Association, Women’s Literary Union in Portland, Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority for Educators, Gorham State Teachers Alumni Association, Cumberland County Retired Teachers Association, and Makaria Circle at Clark Memorial United Methodist Church. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Eunice Frye Home and the Portland Teachers Federal Credit Union.

Her special memories include her love of teaching children, being the first girl to participate in the Soap Box Derby in Cornish, and winning the race at the age of 12, traveling to Newfoundland three times as well as throughout the eastern part of the United States with Dick, and spending time with her cherished friend Marvis Batchelder.

Mrs. Rice was predeceased by her stepbrothers, Leroy Wadsworth and Clifford Wadsworth; and Godson Jamie Batchelder.

She is survived by her children, Sally Newell of South Portland, Susan Brown of South Portland and Shirley Minster of Gray; her seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; her sister, Mary Wadsworth Corey; her two nephews and her goddaughter.

At Mrs. Rice’s request, there will be a graveside service at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Hiram. Online condolences may be expressed at www.hobbsfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to: The Cumberland County Retired Educators Association (CCREA) Scholarship Fund, care of Nancy Randall Clark, 6 Randall Rd., Freeport, ME 04032 or to the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England, care of sbaMass, 219 East Main St., Suite 100B, Milford, MA 01757.

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