Martha Louise Rice-Shelton, passed away suddenly on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the age of 74. She was born on October 19, 1945 in Radford, VA, to Raymond Randall Rice and Virginia Dare (Wallner) Rice.
Martha is survived by her daughter, Regan Virginia Shelton of Pulaski, VA, her sisters Suzanne (Suzi) Mott and Roberta (Bobbi) and brother-in-law John Sullivan, brother Raymond (Crunch) R. Rice, Jr., as well as her nephews Sean (Laura) Sullivan, Thomas Allen Mott, and niece Molly (Michael) Reeves. She is also survived by her cherished animals, some of whom are highly irritating.
Martha grew up in Pulaski, graduated from Pulaski High School in 1964 and married her high school sweetheart Stephen R. “Johnny” Shelton in 1968. Though their marriage didn’t last, it did result in a human child who has more or less successfully accepted her canine and feline siblings.
Martha graduated from Radford University and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked as an English teacher and educator in Wythe and Pulaski Counties, at New River Community College, and retired from Fairfax County (VA) School System in 2003.
She loved the English language and was particularly fluent in profanity. Her sense of humor was dry, a little wicked, and she liked to laugh, especially about herself. She loved nature, working in her yard, and casually destroying lawn equipment. Sometimes she accomplished all three at once.
Martha was a sweet, smart, irreverent, and well-loved woman and a gathering in celebration of her life is being held Saturday, January 18th from 3-5 pm at Christ Episcopal Church Parish Hall. The family will have a private memorial ceremony at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Humane Society of Pulaski County, 80 Dublin Park Road, (540) 674-0089.