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 www.pietrasfuneralhome.com.
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