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76 Prospect Street
Rockville-Vernon, CT 06066
Phone: (860) 875-5490
Fax: (860) 872-8200
Joan Rider

Joan L. Rider

Friday, August 5th, 1938 - Monday, August 26th, 2019
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Joan Leila (Rice) Rider, 81, of Vernon, CT passed away peacefully at home on August 26, 2019. She was born on August 5, 1938 in Ware, MA to the late Cedric and Jenny Rice. She lived in Ellington, then Rockville, CT most of her life. She graduated Rockville High School and worked for the Visiting Nurse Association, and as a nurse’s aide at Rockville Hospital. She also worked at Williams in Tolland. She married the love of her life John Rider on August 6, 1960. Joan met her husband “J.R.” roller skating at crystal lake, and she particularly enjoyed the outdoors. She was proud that when her daughters were young the four of them hiked 57 miles of the Appalachian Trail. She loved camping and the friends she made at Beaver Pines Campground in Woodstock, CT. She also loved dogs and was involved with dog rescue, at times making long trips to help transport rescue dogs to their forever home. Joan was a member of the Eastern Star until a serious illness forced her to concentrate on her health. She was very caring to all and at the same time fiercely protective of her family anytime she thought someone did them wrong. She loved listening to the CB radio and the truckers back in the day. Joan was not afraid to venture where “no one had gone”, an example was when she drove a racecar (just once) around a local speedway track long before women were allowed to race. She was proud of her significant weight loss 15 years ago by using Weight Watchers- yet another example of her strong will. Her family will miss her smile, sense of humor mixed with sarcasm, and the family Christmas dinners. In addition to her husband she is survived by her daughter Debra Rider who has taken care of Joan and John for the last two years, and her daughter and son-in-law Diana and Frank Miller. She is also survived by grandchildren, Sharon McFarlane and Adam Miller (and his girlfriend Krista Sabo) as well as great-grandchildren Cody Linnell, Leila Betterley, Victoria Miller, Kailee Miller, Eddy Johanson, Kassidy Miller and Mac Miller. She had several nieces and nephews who she loved. Joan was the last of her siblings as her sisters and brothers had predeceased her. She was also predeceased by a grandson, Allen Miller. The family would like to thank Rockville Visiting Nurse for their support and caring for the last few years. Relatives and friends may join the family on Thursday, August 29. 2019 between 4pm-7pm at the Small & Pietras Funeral Home, 65 Elm Street, Rockville, CT. A Funeral Home Service will take place on Friday, August 30, 2019 at 11am at the Small & Pietras Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Grove Hill Cemetery. For online condolences please visit
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, August 29th, 2019 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Thursday, August 29th, 2019 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Small & Pietras Funeral Home
    65 Elm St.
    Rockville 06066
  • Service

    Friday, August 30th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Friday, August 30th, 2019 11:00am
    Small & Pietras Funeral Home
    65 Elm St.
    Rockville 06066
  • Interment

    Grove Hill Cemetery
    Grove St.
    Rockville 06066


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Posted at 11:29am
I am at a loss for words during this sorrowful time. Please know that I am thinking of you and praying for peace and comfort.
Joanie (Thayer) Boyd

Kathy Smith

Posted at 09:58pm
There are countless memories of Joan (and John) supporting me as I grew. Dear friends with Diana and Debbie, they welcomed me into their home, took me camping, hosted sleepovers and dinners, joked with me and watched me grow. When my Dad passed away unexpectantly, I remember visiting their house and crying with them. I am lucky to have had these wonderful surrogate parents and supportive family in my life. Although my heart breaks for you, John, Debbie, Di and Frank, you should feel surrounded by the love that Joan so freely gave to all of you. A very proud woman. Cheers to a life well lived.

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