Brenda J. (Files) Rice, 73, Wife of Late City Councilor

brenda_riceBrenda J. (Files) Rice, 73, wife of the late City Councilor Paul T. Rice Jr. passed away Sunday, June 5, at Avita of Newburyport after living with progressive dementia since 2013. She was surrounded by her immediate family.

Born in Haverhill, she was the daughter of the late Robert A. Files and Marion (“Natalie”) (Emery) Files-Kerry. Raised and educated in Haverhill, she was a graduate of Haverhill High School, class of 1960. Rice loved spending time at the local beaches, watching sunrises and reading, for years with her husband, and later with her daughters and grandchildren. In her later life, she renovated doll houses with her husband and her best friend and sister-in-law, Pamela O’Brien. She loved bargaining at yard sales on the weekends. She lived in Arizona from 2005 until 2008 with her daughter Jacki and four of her six grandchildren. There, she loved to attend all of the children’s performances and events. In 2008 she moved to Florida near her daughter Laurie and her husband James Richards where she lived in retirement at Sun City Center. In 2014, she moved back to the North Shore with both of her daughters. While in Florida she volunteered at the local library in Sun City. Rice was an avid reader, often seen in her favorite rocking chair, with the latest book. She also loved dining out at her favorite restaurants.

Surviving her are her two daughters, Laurie J. Richards and her husband James C. of Wells, Maine, and Jacki L. Rice and husband Michael Basso of Salisbury; sister, Patricia Huberdeau of Adams; sisters-in-law Donna Roberts and Melanie Altruda and brother-in-law Phil Rice;  and grandchildren, Meghan L. Howland, Leighann Richards, Andrew Knouse, Max C. Knouse, Hannah C. Knouse and Cameron P. Knouse. In addition to her husband she was predeceased by her brother David Files and sister-in-law Pamela O’Brien.

Family and friends are invited to attend calling hours Thursday, June 9, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., at Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main St., Haverhill. Burial will be private. Memorial donations may be made in her memory to the Haverhill Public Library, 99 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830, a favorite place she frequented during her life in Haverhill.