Cecelia Borden, 105, Portsmouth

Posted 1/10/20

Cecelia (Pearce) Borden, 105, of Portsmouth, passed away on January 6, 2020, at the Grand Islander Nursing Home in Middletown. She was the wife of the late Robert MacCormick and the late Richard …

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Cecelia Borden, 105, Portsmouth


Cecelia (Pearce) Borden, 105, of Portsmouth, passed away on Jan. 6, 2020, at the Grand Islander Nursing Home in Middletown. She was the wife of the late Robert MacCormick and the late Richard Borden.

Born on February 12, 1914, she was the daughter of the late Cecelia Crocker Pearce and Richard Benjamin Pearce, originally from England.  She was the sister of the late Richard Pearce and Barbara Haynes.

She is survived by her nieces Pam Pitt of North Kingstown, Valerie Records of Warwick, and Susan Ozbek of Warwick nephews Richard Haynes of North Kingston, and Dave Pearce of North Kingstown.  She is also survived by her stepson, John Borden of Portsmouth, and stepdaughter, Nancy Borden Weida of Portsmouth, in addition to many great nieces, nephews, and stepgrandchildren.

Ce, as she was known by many, was a woman full of life and the joy of finding happiness wherever she was. She attended high school in Chicago and upon moving to Rhode Island became a successful secretary at the Gladding’s Department Store in Providence. She lived in Cranston and moved on to Portsmouth in her charming home on Porters Lane with her husband Bob. There, she established lovely gardens and long-lasting friendships. She was an active member of the Portsmouth Garden Club for many, many years.

She enjoyed visiting with her sister Barbara at the “beach house” in the summer in Rhode Island as well as shopping and birthday celebrations with nieces Valerie, Pam and Susan.

Never one to shy away from a challenge or hard work, she spent many hours working with her husband Richard and stepson John at the family-owned Borden Farm apartments in Portsmouth. She would sometimes wallpaper or paint till late at night when necessary to get an apartment ready for rental. She paid all the expenses, helped manage the property and acted as bookkeeper till 98 years old.  

Ce belonged to the YMCA in Barrington where she would meets friends to swim and attend aerobics classes three days a week well into her 90s. Afterwards they would go to Newport Creamery for lunch and coffee ice cream.

An exceptionally generous person with both her money and her time, she often participated in organizations with the aim of serving people. She volunteered with the Heart Association and did the 10 mile walk for hunger in Newport sponsored by Trinity Church.

She became a member of the Evangelical Friends Church in Middletown and worshipped there since the early 1970’s. She spent decades serving on the hospitality committee, attended services regularly, cared for the young children of church goers in the nursery and attended regional conference meetings in Ohio. In the summer she would do outreach with children and adults in a camp setting in Portsmouth.

Her love for animals was well known and at times she adopted up to five cats to provide them with good homes. Her connection to the Potter Animal League in Middletown is ongoing.

An avid traveler, Ce had been to Jerusalem, Africa and Turkey along with many destinations in America. She especially enjoyed visiting Atlanta to visit dear friends and relatives.

Always on the go and driving well into her late 90s, she enjoyed meeting friends for coffee and breakfast at Reidy’s and Food Works restaurants in Portsmouth.

The family would like to thank the Grand Islander Nursing Home for Ce’s exceptional care and compassion for the past several years.

An ever-positive person who loved people, her friends and family she will be sorely missed.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 4-7 p.m. in Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth.

Her funeral will be held Thursday Jan. 16, 2020, at 11 a.m. in Friends Evangelical Church, 70 Bliss Road, Middletown. 

Burial will be in St. Mary's Churchyard, 324 East Main Road, Portsmouth.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Potters League for Animals in Middletown.

Additional information at www.memorialfuneralhome.com.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.