Obituary: Phyllis Costello Rice, 89

Phyllis Costello Rice, aged 89, beloved mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, died on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. She was married to her devoted and loving husband Jack for 54 years before he passed away in 2003.

She was the daughter of the late Dominick Castello and Myrtle (Stoudenheimer) Castello. A Norwalk resident since 1954, Phyllis was born in Bronx, NY on January 8, 1928, living there most of her childhood.

Phyllis worked for many years at Caldor Executive Offices and then Spadone Machine Company, in Norwalk before retiring in 1990 to spend time with her family and travel with Jack.

Phyllis was an active member of the Norwalk United Methodist Church, now Cornerstone Community Church for the past 63 years. Among her many activities at church were Sunday School teacher, Communion Steward, member of the Church Choir and the Norwalk United Methodist Women. Phyllis and Jack also prepared meals in the church kitchen for Manna House for many years. She was a long time member of the Norwalk Womens Club, as well as the Norwalk Senior Center.

Her joys in life were many. She loved Yankees baseball since she was a child growing up in the Bronx, as well as UConn Womens Basketball. She was an amazing cook, an avid reader and loved to sing and dance. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She was a wonderful caregiver to her children while they were growing up, into adulthood, and until the day she died. Phyllis was able to make everyone feel loved and at home. She had the amazing gift of being able to see the good in everything and everyone.

Phyllis is survived by her four children, John R. Rice of Wethersfield, Keith Rice and his wife Liz of Milford, Laurel Gray of North Haven and Nancy Rice of Norwalk; 8 grandchildren, Christy Gray, Tim Gray and his wife Nuri, Bobby Mathews, Jillian Gray, Michael Mathews, Matthew Rice, Ali Rice, Elizabeth Rice; and two great grandchildren Aaliyah and Mylan Rice; 11 nieces and nephews; and a Son-in-Law Frank Gray. She is predeceased by her brother Victor Costello and two sisters, Mary Ellen Rice and Eleanor Gilmore.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at the Cornerstone Community Church, 718 West Avenue, Norwalk. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to The Bridgeport Rescue Mission and The Salvation Army, two of Phyllis’ favorite charities. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Hoyt-Cognetta Funeral Home, 5 Wall Street, Norwalk is in charge of arrangements.