Mary Sedin Reichle of Boone, N.C., died of acute respiratory failure on March 1, 2019 in her second home, Watauga Medical Center.

She spent her final days surrounded by love, teaching everyone around her to the very end.

Mary was born January 15, 1944 in San Diego, CA. She was a nurse and medical/spiritual guru to all who crossed her path.

Education was a point of pride for her. She graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1960 and St. Joseph’s Hospital Nursing School in 1964. She attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a BS and Master’s in Nursing, as well as a Master’s in Public Health between 1967 and 1987. She was recruited to the Watauga County Health Department in 1972 to help start the community outreach and crisis pregnancy programs.

In 1987, she joined Watauga Hospital to manage the OB/Nursery Department welcoming decades of newborns. In case God had other plans, she would care for the grieving parents of angel babies with her trademarked gentle care. She also worked in the Learning Center, where she mentored countless new nurses to love and listen. She helped develop nursing policies and procedures that the hospital uses to this day. Before she retired, she made sure the palliative care program was up and running. She spent her retirement counseling everywhere from Hospice to her living room.

She met the love of her life, Peter Croll Reichle in Fort Worth, TX, where they both worked in a halfway house. They joined forces in 1964. He lured her to Chapel Hill, NC where they welcomed Lisa into the world in 1986. He followed her to Boone, where they spent the majority of their 54 year marriage fostering children both officially and unofficially. They joined the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church community in 1974 and shepherded many students via ASU Canterbury’s weekly dinners.

She leaves behind her husband, Pete; her sister, Jane; her daughter, Lisa; and foster son, Jim Polk; and many cats.

She joins her parents, Florence and Alvin; her brother, John; and her best friend, Jenny Millsaps. And many cats.

Mary will be missed, but she taught us well.

If you’re reading this, call and tell someone you love them.

Services for Mary Reichle will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone, officiated by Pastor Cindy Banks.

The family suggests memorials to The Patient Emergency Fund at Watauga Medical Center, PO Box 2600, Boone, NC 28607, or to the Community Care Clinic, 141 Health Center Drive, Suite B, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at the website

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Reichle family.

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