Shirley Rice

Obituary of Shirley M. Rice

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Shirley M. Rice

1928 – 2023


New Hartford – Shirley M. Rice, “Nana”, passed into the arms of the Lord on Monday, March 6, 2023, at the age of 94.  She was a resident of the Sitrin Home, formerly of the Meadows, both in New Hartford and previously a longtime resident of Clinton.

            Shirley was born October 23, 1928, in Utica, the daughter of Edward and Alice (Robellard) Murphy.  She was raised and educated in Utica and a graduate of Utica School for Practical Nurses in 1960.  She began her working career at Wade-Mills Nursing Home, of which her mother owned.  She later went on to work in the maternity wards of Faxton and St. Luke’s Hospitals where she assisted in the births of four of her grandchildren before her retirement.  On December 6, 1946, Shirley married Marshall Rice in Vernon Center, NY, enjoying a union of 58 years before his passing in 2004.  They lived in the Utica area and in Denver, CO, before settling in Clinton, NY and spending summers in Sylvan Beach.  Shirley and Marshall enjoyed square dancing with their dear friends, Wally and Delores Taylor, and were members of The Mohawk Valley Swinging Squares.  Shirley loved sewing and quilting, gifting beautiful quilts to her family.  She belonged to the NYS Quilting Club and the Thread Bears Quilters Guild of which she served a term as chairperson.  Shirley was a deeply religious and caring person.  She was a member of The Church of the Annunciation in Clark Mills.  She was a volunteer for the America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk, and the Oneida County Board of Elections.  Shirley was awarded Volunteer of the Year as a patient advocate at St. Elizabeth Hospital and a member of St. Elizabeth’s Guild.  In her later years, she enjoyed playing Mahjongg with her friends.

            Shirley is survived by three daughters and their spouses, Charolette and Ron LeClair, North Carolina, Marsha and Mark Townsend, South Carolina, June and Paul Forrester, Clinton; one son and daughter-in-law, Howard and Terry Rice, Vernon Center; as well as 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by her lifelong special friend, Jean Pierce.  She is predeceased by her sister, Patricia Zimmerman.

            The family would like to thank the staff of the Sitrin Home for their kind and compassionate care of their “Nana”.

            Relatives and friends are invited to call at R.P. Heintz Funeral Service, Inc., 10 East Park Row, Clinton, on Saturday, April 1, 2023 from 11 am – 1 pm.  Interment, in Skinner Cemetery, Vernon Center, will take place at a later date.

            Those wishing may donate to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upstate New York Chapter, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Suite 900, Rochester, NY  14620

            Online memorial and guestbook available at

“Nana, You’re the Best!”



Memorial Visitation

11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 1, 2023
R. P. Heintz Funeral Service, Inc.
10 East Park Row
Clinton, New York, United States

Private Interment

Skinner Cemetery
3571 Lyons Road
Vernon Center, New York, United States
Interment will take place at the convenience of the family.
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Shirley Rice

In Loving Memory

Shirley Rice

1928 - 2023

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