Nancy Riegel departed this life on September 8, 2021, at the age of 81. She passed at her home, secure in the love of her family and friends. Nancy was a community trustee and active in many different causes: access to and fairness in voting, providing basic needs for at-risk people, nutrition in the public schools, women’s education and achievement, the arts, family support, public libraries, the human side of nutrition, and public health. She served as the Chair of the Family Living Council and the Secretary of the Lebanon Chapter of the League of Women Voters for several terms. She was an active member of the Lebanon Valley Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and the Palmyra Garden Club – where she held leadership roles.
Nancy was a social person who loved to meet new people and spend time with her many friends. While she loved to talk, all who knew her would say that she was an excellent listener. She saw people and valued them for who they were. Nancy was curious and creative, loving repartée and good jokes, live music, dancing, and entertaining.
Growing up, she lived in Reading, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from the University of Maryland, her master’s degree from Drexel University, and completed post-graduate coursework at Johns Hopkins University. After completing her education, she joined the Reading Hospital faculty and taught nutrition and dietetics to student nurses.
After marriage and moving to the Lebanon Valley, Nancy had a long, varied career that reflected her wide range of interests: consultant dietitian in the drug & alcohol rehab and nursing home industries, nutrition teacher in the Harrisburg School District, dietitian in a test kitchen, and dietitian at the Harrisburg State Hospital. She was also an entrepreneur, having run a successful baking business, a jewelry-making business, a toy-making business, and an antiques business. Nancy also explored international foodways and enjoyed needle-arts of all kinds. She was a talented seamstress who sewed and tailored her own clothes, as well as for her family. Nancy was a passionate volunteer for many Lebanon Valley organizations, as previously stated.
Nancy deeply loved her family and was there for them throughout the whole of her life. She is survived by her husband of 53 years – Dr. Leon Riegel; her two daughters – Alicia and Dorie; and her two grandsons. Besides her own professional and personal interests, she was the backbone behind Leon’s endeavor, the Valley Animal Hospital, Ltd., on Ridge Road in Palmyra. She lives on in the hearts of her family and friends and will always be remembered.
Her family will be celebrating her life on Wednesday, September 15, starting at 10:00 a.m. at Palm Lutheran Church, 11 W. Cherry St., Palmyra, PA, and looks forward to greeting all who loved Nancy. Please do not send flowers. Please send donations in honor of Nancy Riegel to the Palmyra Public Library, attn: Chelsea Weibley, P.O. Box 114, Palmyra, PA 17078.