Virginia L. Rice (nee Rita Virginia Neilson), beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed peacefully on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Virginia was born on December 19, 1931, in Cresson, Pennsylvania to Christina Marie Gallagher Neilson and August Theodore Neilson. (Siblings: Nellie, Patricia, Patrick, Theda, Georgette, Jack, Maureen, Peggy-Ann, and Gary.)
She is survived by her children Mark Markealli (Cindy Mansley), Chris Markealli, Trish Hannum (Walt Hannum), Lynn Markealli, Kirsten Wright (John Wright), and John Markealli (Betty Skundrick); her grandchildren Michael Markealli, Lauren Hornak, Stacy Harvey (Jared Harvey), Melissa Shoemaker (Eric Shoemaker), Joey Wright, and Erin Wright; and her great-grandchildren Brady Harvey and Carter Harvey.
Virginia married Anthony Joseph Markealli in Narberth, Pennsylvania in October, 1957 and spent the next thirty-three years with him in a household full of love, children, family, food, and at frequent intervals general chaos caused by at least one and usually multiple of her brood. Devoted, loyal, and steadfast, Virginia raised bees' nest pokers, ice skaters, baseball players, Vo-tech rebels, brick throwers, and sucker snaggers who eventually became mechanics, artists, teachers, engineers, analysts, and - not surprisingly - devoted, loyal, steadfast parents in their own right.
A woman ahead of her time, Virginia had the foresight in her life to take many accounting classes through Delaware County Community College, as well as some night school business classes at Marple Newtown High School. These classes empowered Virginia to help support her family by bookkeeping for local businesses, often braving the likes of Malin Road in the dead of winter in her little light blue Mustang II. She and Tony built a social empire, and albeit to a lesser degree an economic one, in the flea market and antiques trade long before it was vogue on E-bay and Craigslist.
Virginia married William (Bill) Rice in April 2010, in Broomall, Pennsylvania. Virginia and Bill enjoyed their golden years traveling extensively, socializing, making a home, and refining the simple pleasures of sharing meals together at their favorite restaurants. Never one to sit still, Virginia served for a time as Treasurer and Travel (trips) Coordinator for the Over-50 club at St. Pius X Church as well as volunteering at the Surrey Thrift Shop. Virginia's successful volunteer efforts and results with Pro-Life were perhaps her proudest. She gave a voice to and took action on behalf of unborn children resulting in favorable legislation protecting the lives of the children.
Virginia never stopped praying for all of us, hoping for all of us, and loving every single one of us. It is this spirit of hope that is her legacy.
Relatives and friends are invited to Virginia’s Funeral Mass, Monday, December 6, 2021, 10:00 AM at St. Pius X Church, 220 Lawrence Road, Broomall, PA 19008. Funeral Mass to be livestreamed by St. Pius X Church beginning at 10:00 AM. Visit the following link to view: www.vimeo.com/spxbroomall. Viewing and Interment to be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Virginia’s memory to Johnny’s Run for Life, a pro-life organization, via https://sites.google.com/view/johnnys-run-for-life/home
The 23rd Psalm, Virginia's favorite, reads:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Johnny’s Run for Life, A Pro-Life Organization