COLRAIN - Anna Wood Rice, 92, passed away peacefully at home in Colrain, on Friday, April 26, 2013, at her home.
Anna was born in Arendtsville, PA, on Oct. 2, 1920, the second of six children of the Rev. William Wallace Wood and Esther Chase Wood. The family lived in Riverdale and Staten Island, NY, Gettysburg, PA, and their farm in Seven Stars, outside of Gettysburg. Anna was valedictorian of her Yonkers High School class and attended Barnard College.
In 1940, she was married to her childhood sweetheart, Livingston Rice, best friend of her brother Bill. The Rices settled in Williamstown to raise their four daughters.
Livy was a supervisor at Sprague Electric Co. in North Adams (now MassMOCA). As vice chairperson of the Williamstown Conservation Commission and head of the Education Committee, Anna initiated use of the Little Red Schoolhouse in South Williamstown as a nature study center; spearheaded the purchase of land for Margaret Lindley Park and swimming area; worked with Williams College environmental students.
She was also president of the League of Women Voters and an active member of the First Congregational Church.
In 1971, the couple moved to Manchester, VT, where they had acquired an old woodworking factory on the Battenkill River and built a greenhouse onto their home to supply Battenkill Crafts, their new business. Later, moving to Bennington, they built a passive solar home for retirement. Following her husband's death in 2004, Anna moved to Colrain and lived with her daughter, Ruby.
Anna was a voracious reader with a particular interest in history and historical biography. She was a lover of animals and an authority on New England ferns and wild flowers. She and Livy often spent time at their cabin retreat in the Berkshires.
Anna was an oil painter and avid gardener. Her book of poetry, ""Encounter,"" was released this month.
Anna is survived by daughters, Lynn Lichtig of New York City, Ruby Rice of Colrain and Patricia Esden of East Fairfield, VT; grandchildren, Jody Weatherstone of Barwick, NY, Jonathan Lichtig of New Hartford, CT; great-grandchildren, Audrey and Rowan Weatherstone; sons-in-law, Joseph Lichtig, Bernard Jones and Russell Esden.
Her daughter, Joann Rice, died in 2002.
Anna is also survived by a sister, Lynn Dizard, and brothers, Dr. John C. Wood and Dr. Walter S. Wood.
She was predeceased by her brother, William Wood, and sister, Julia Lord.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home. Burial will be at Park Lawn Cemetery in Bennington on Tuesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. A celebration of life for friends and family will be held in Colrain on July 14, 2013.
For information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If friends desire, memorial gifts in Anna's memory may be made to The Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts or Hospice of Franklin County, c/o Hanson-Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 957, Bennington, VT. To send the family personal email condolences, please visit: www.sheafuneralhoms.com.
The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Hanson-Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home, 213 West Main St., Bennington, VT.