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Dorothy E. Rice, 84

ADAMS, Mass. —  

Early morning, September 12, 2023, perhaps with the rising of the sun, Dorothy Elizabeth Rice swooped off with her angels to an ultimate family reunion with our beloved parents and superlative six siblings. She passed away peacefully in her sleep when her generous loving heart gave out.

She was born in North Adams on July 18, 1939, a daughter of the late Hart and Catherine (Murphy) Rice. Dot had an idyllic childhood growing up with her ten siblings on Peace Valley Farm in Williamstown. Attending local schools, she graduated from the former Williamstown High School in 1957, where she was actively involved in band, chorus, cheerleading, student council, class offices, etc. She went on to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, the only campus then, earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1962.

Dot then went to New York City for the next 30 years, applying her expertise and TLC, first at Bellevue Hospital and then at Columbia University Medical Center. There she earned her master’s in nursing while working with heart research, specializing in cardiovectorology. Her unit trained doctors from all over the world in cutting edge cardiology techniques. Later, she returned to Adams to help her mother cope with her failing eyesight until her passing in 1996. Next, she worked at the Adams Free Library from August 1999 to August 2011.

She was a communicant of the Parish of St. John Paul II, Adams, first at the former St. Thomas Aquinas Church, and later at Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Church for many years. Sometimes singing in the choir, she had a lovely voice and was excellent at harmonizing. Dot especially appreciated her vast loving family of ten siblings, a plethora of adoring nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, and all their extended families. She also loved playing Scrabble, being out in nature, weeding, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and spending time with her close friends.

She had a compassionate heart for the less fortunate and contributed generously to many organizations and charities. Plus, taking after our saintly mom, Dot was our prayer warrior, constantly praying for all our families, friends, and the whole world.

Certainly we'll all mourn her passing, but focus on her being free of her debilitated body, rapturously joyous in Heaven’s eternal bliss. Then we can honor her life-well-lived by being kind, generous, and loving, and by letting our heartlights shine to brighten up our weary world, so in need of special, spiritual people, such as Dot was.

Dot is survived by her two sisters, Nancy Bassi of Adams and Virginia Farmer of Casselberry, FL, and by her two brothers, Thomas Rice of Tempe, AZ and William Rice of Lee.

Besides her phenomenal parents, she was predeceased by her two brothers, Hart Rice, Jr. and John Rice, as well as her four sisters, Mary Baker, Patricia Austin, Margaret Bowes and Kathleen Rogers.

A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, September 18th at 12:00 NOON in Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs Church, Adams.

Burial will follow in Southview Cemetery, North Adams.

Calling hours are Monday IN THE CHURCH from 10:00 A.M. until 12:00 Noon.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Partners in Health, co-founded by Gin’s late son Dr. Paul Farmer at or 800 Boylston St., Suite 300, Boston, MA 02199 or to a charity of one’s choice in Dot’s name.

The PACIOREK FUNERAL HOME, 13 Hoosac St., Adams, is in charge of arrangements.

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Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Mrs. Bassi,
I send you my thoughts and my love.
from: Lisa Kittler Schifillition: 09-18-2023

Nancy...I extend my deepest sympathies to you and your entire family. She was reflective of the way God wanted us all to live...she was her brothers keeper.
from: Gary Rivers on: 09-15-2023

Nancy and family,
So sorry for your loss.
You are in our prayers.
from: Cathy and Paul Delleaon: 09-15-2023