Melissa W. (Rice) Gervais of Tucson, Ariz., died unexpectedly on April 2. She was 49 and the daughter of the late Alan B. Rice and Irene M. Rice of Brookline.

Ms. Gervais was born in Boston and raised in Brookline. She was graduated from the Runkle School, Brookline High School and with honors from Adelphia University. After college, she moved to Tucson with her husband John, where she began her teaching career.

She was a summer resident of the Vineyard in the 1960s and 1970s.

She loved working with children and was teaching second graders at Sonoran Science Academy in Tucson at the time of her death. Before that, she taught art at St. Michael’s School, also in Tucson. In addition to teaching in several other city schools and the Jewish Youth Center, Ms. Gervais also greatly enjoyed teaching children privately and, in summers, at the Tucson Art Museum.

Melissa was a communicant of St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church in Tucson. She served there as a sub-deacon and was instrumental in starting several youth and children’s programs.

Ms. Gervais’s marriage ended in divorce. She is survived by her partner, Daniel Lyons of Tucson, as well as her sisters and their spouses: Alison R. and Myles Edwards of Essex Fells, N.J.; Bettina P. and Jim Hackett of Cranston, R.I.; and Sarah B. and Michael Patt of Wenham, as well as many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her uncle and aunt, Richard and Joan Palatine of Glastonbury, Conn., and their son and daughter-in-law. Her brother, Arthur P. Rice, predeceased her. She is survived by his widow, Tina Rice, and their two children.

In addition to memorial services held in Tucson, there will be a service at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edgartown at 11 a.m. on June 27. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Melissa Rice Gervais Art Fund/Scholarship at St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, Box 65840, Tucson AZ 85728-5840.