Folsom Funeral Service

Reis, Izetta (Nicholson)


Dover’s oldest citizen, Izetta M. (Nicholson) Reis passed away suddenly in Walpole April 6, 2011 at the age of 101.  Born on October 26,1909 of largely Scottish heritage, she grew up outside the village of Coldstream, New Brunswick, the eldest daughter and one of seven children of George A. and Susan Estabrooks Nicholson.   Helping her mother with the many chores and the care of her siblings on a small farm before electricity came to Coldstream, she was also a star student at the local one-room schoolhouse.  That school provided a sound basic education, but as it only went through the eighth grade, she came to Boston at age 16 to complete her education.   Living with relatives in Jamaica Plain, she learned the art of couture under the tutelage of her aunt, Eunice Nicholson, a designer and fine dressmaker, which was reflected in her lifelong taste for classical, youthful clothing.  After completing her education, she worked for two Boston banks and finally the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 

Moving to West Roxbury in 1932, she married F. Stanley Reis, who had begun what were to be 25 years as organist and choir director at the Ruggles Street Baptist Church in Roxbury and 43 years with General Motors Acceptance Corporation.  He also served as trustee for the New England Baptist Hospital and other institutions.  They lived in West Roxbury with their son Frederick until moving to DeWitt, New York in 1956, the first of a series of moves that also included North Tarrytown, New York, as her husband assumed executive positions in Syracuse, New York City, and Boston.  In West Roxbury Izetta Reis was an active member of the Stratford Street Baptist Church, where she was a member of women’s groups and served as a deaconess, while also volunteering in the community and at the Roxbury Latin School.   They moved to Dover in 1965, when he was named regional manager for New England and Upstate New York, and were married almost 65 years until his death in 1997.

Holder of the Boston Post Cane as the oldest citizen of Dover at the time of her death, Izetta Reis lived independently at New Pond Village and was gifted with a keen intellect and phenomenal memory that served as an unparalleled family history resource.   Uncomplaining despite numerous health challenges, she showed great resiliency and will in springing  back, including from a serious case of tuberculosis at age 87 that was traced back to milk from the family cow 80 years earlier.  She was an elegant, gracious, sweet lady who took great interest in people, helped and inspired many, and was loved and revered by people of many ages and backgrounds. 

She is survived by her son, Frederick S. Reis, Jr. of Arlington, VA; her sister, Irene M. Whiteside of Saint John, New Brunswick; her cousin, Betty Nicholson Muller of Elkton, MD; several nephews and nieces and their families; and many good friends.  A memorial service, which will also commemorate the life of F. Stanley Reis, will be held at the Stratford Street United Church, 77 Stratford St., West Roxbury at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Rd., Canton, MA 02021; Morgan Memorial Goodwill, 1010 Harrison Ave., Roxbury, MA 02119; Project Bread, 145 Border St., East Boston, MA 02128; or a charity of your choice.  For online guestbook, please visit

Guestbook Entries

  1. michael j. malone
    April 27th, 2011 | 12:20 pm

    I just wanted to extend our condolences to Izetta’s family. We had seen her in our office over the last two years and it was truly a pleasure to have known her. Michael J. Malone at Dedham medical Associates.

  2. James Gustafson
    June 11th, 2011 | 3:15 pm

    Sorry for your loss, Fred and other family members. I count it a privilege to be invited to take part in the memorial service on June 18.

  3. Stacy Nicholson
    June 12th, 2011 | 9:00 pm

    What a beautiful obituary Fred, all the best on the 18th of June at the memorial service, very sorry I will not be able to attend. ♥

  4. Florence H.Stickney
    June 15th, 2011 | 7:39 pm

    Fred,again words fail me; your obituary for Mum is just beautiful, heartfelt and oh,so like her. She is proud of you,I know. I am honoured to have known her albeit briefly; she left an impression on me, Mummie and Daddy.
    A truly elegant lady with a wry sense of humour; she will be sorely missed. Although I’m a continent away, rest assured my thoughts and prayers are with you especially this coming Saturday.

  5. Karen Swan
    July 11th, 2011 | 8:34 pm

    I just read your Mother’s obituary in the Westwood Hometown Weekly and wanted you to know that you have been in my thoughts. I truly enjoyed meeting you and working with your mom at New Pond Village. You had a wonderful relationship and it was obvious that you loved each other very much. I wish you the very best as you move forward. I will hold a special place in my heart & memory for you & your mom.
    God’s peace. Karen

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service