Mabel Eleanor Reese Rice Mullen

Mabel Eleanor Reese Rice Mullen, 88, transitioned to her heavenly home on December 3, 2021. She was a native of Newport News and the 6th of 9 children born to William and Sarah Reese. Mabel graduated from Newport News High School and attended Mary Washington College. As a loving mother, she dedicated her life to raising her four children, making sure they attended church each Sunday and led them to their faith. Later she would enjoy spending time with and loving her 5 grandsons. More recently, Mabel enjoyed visits from and seeing pictures of her 5 great-grandchildren. She was a member of Menchville Baptist Church. Having a “green thumb”, Mabel loved working in her yard and always had the prettiest flowers in the neighborhood. She retired as a floral designer. After her children were grown, she met and married William “Bill” Mullen who she said was the true love of her life. They enjoyed the mountains and rides along Skyline Drive. Mabel enjoyed taking trips with her children to Germany, France, Hawaii, Alaska, Nashville, the Florida Keys, Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands. Having grown up on the Hampton Roads harbor, she enjoyed fishing, boating, and being near the water. In recent years Mabel lived in assisted living at Warwick Forest. She loved participating in activities and attending concerts, dressing in special holiday outfits and making floral arrangements for the residents and staff. If she gave you a floral arrangement, she was giving you a part of herself.

Mabel was preceded in death by her husband William “Bill” Mullen; daughter, Emilie Dianne Shartzer; stepson, William Mullen, Jr.; and stepdaughter, Diane Reid. She is survived by her brother, Robert Reese; sister, Alice Thomas; son, David Rice (Linda); daughters, Virginia Wason (Chip) and Anita Leonard (Preston); son-in-law, Len Shartzer (Faith); stepson, Thomas Mullen (Ann); stepdaughter, Patricia Eckstein (Jay); stepdaughter-in-law, Earlyne Mullen; step son-in-law, William Reid; grandsons, Adam Shartzer, Scott Shartzer, Dustin Engstrom, Joshua Rice, and Mason Leonard; and 5 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Mabel’s life will be held at Peninsula Funeral Home at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2021 officiated by Rev. Jim Weston. The CDC highly recommends masks for inside gatherings. Burial will be held immediately following the service at Peninsula Memorial Park in Newport News.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Toys for Tots, the Food Bank or the American Heart Association.
The family would like to thank Dr. Bryan Baines for the many years he was a friend to and cared for “Miss Mabel,” and also thanks to the nurses and staff at Sentara CarePlex and Warwick Forest for their care.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.


  1. Bob Reese

    Thank God for my loving sister Mabel. She always made me feel loved and accepted. She would say,”Bob I love you and don’t you forget it”. She is now enjoying her great reward in heaven as God says,“well done my good & faithful servant.”

  2. Lori Morgan

    I am so sorry to hear this. Miss Mabel was truely a sweet Godly lady. All of you are in my prayers. Sorry I will not make the service, I will be out of town. My love to all.

  3. Agnes & Allen Bruce

    Allen & I are so sorry for your loss of Mabel. She was a sweet lady & we were glad we got to know her after Adele & Adam got married. We enjoyed learning more about her influence with friends by sharing her flowers , hobbies, & Godly wisdom. Mabel will be greatly missed by her loved ones who hopefully will continue her Christian legacy.

  4. Christie Gallagher

    We are so sad to hear of Mabels passing. She was such a kind lady . Know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers. We are sorry to say , we were out of town and unable to be at her service.

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