Carol Ann Reiche (nee Hamada), 95, passed away Sunday, January 3, 2021 with her daughters by her side. Originally from New Jersey, she had lived a long time in Pennsylvania, and had moved to Virginia Beach in 2013. She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, Frank Paul Reiche. She was thedaughter of the late Mary and Ichi Hamada of Pleasantville, NJ.
Mass of the Christian Burial will take place at St Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Virginia Beach on Thursday, January 14 th at noon. Burial will be with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Carol is survived by her daughters, Cynthia (Jim) Masten, and Diane (Ron) Erale; two grandchildren, Brian (Alli) Erale, and Erica (Trent) Baker; two great-grandchildren Cicely Erale and Asher Baker. Her granddaughter, Angela Erale, passed away in 2015.
In lieu of flowers, a gift may be made to St Thomas Aquinas Regional School in Woodbridge, VA in memory of Carol Reiche, grandmother of Erica Erale Baker and great-grandmother of Cicely Erale. Giving – St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School aquinastars.org/give/
Carol’s priority was family. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and sister. As a military couple, Carol and Frank moved frequently living in New Jersey, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Germany, and Italy. She traveled to so many interesting places and collected special mementos from all over. She volunteered with Army Community Services, the Girl Scouts, the chaplain’s office, and often as a room mother at her daughters’ schools.
Carol enjoyed bowling and golf and was very talented at embroidery, crocheting, and knitting. She made sweaters for herself and her granddaughters. She learned the latest crafts and made gifts for the family with her new skills. She sewed many pretty dresses for her daughters and made outfits for all her grandchildren, including a beautiful christening gown, blanket and pillow used by all three grandchildren on their baptismal day.
Carol was an excellent cook as well. She was always cooking a delicious meal, but never too busy to play a game of cards – she loved Bridge – or to be a part of an exciting family board game. When it came to family, nothing was too much trouble. Being with her family was her idea of a wonderful time.
Carol was a patient and very loving mother and grandmother, always welcoming family and friends into her home with cookies or cake and, of course, a big cup of coffee. She never minded a drop in visit – in fact, she loved it when her sister would drop by, or the grandchildren would show up at her door. She was never, ever too busy.
One of her greatest pleasures was celebrating the Christmas season. It was her birthday, but she never made it about herself. She baked cookies, bread dough ornaments to decorate with her grandchildren, and carefully and lovingly trimmed the tree. She’d patiently lay the tinsel on strand-by-strand so that it would look beautiful and neat, but she tolerated her kids putting it on the way kids put on tinsel. Even if the freshly decorated tree had to be taken down just days before Christmas due to an impending move, Carol still made sure that her family had a beautiful tree for those few days. It was never too much trouble. It was all about the sharing of the moment, the joy of the celebration. She neatly and carefully wrapped each gift, taking as much care with the paper and ribbon and she did in selecting the gift itself. Carol decorated her home with the treasures she collected through the years at all the different places she had lived or visited. And she could tell you where she bought each angel, ornament, manger, or Christmas table cloth. She absolutely loved for the family to pile into the car to drive around and “ooh” and “ahh” at peoples’ decorations. Then, it was back home for a cup of hot chocolate.
Carol could narrate such funny stories of growing up with seven siblings, much to the delight of her daughters. Having five sisters and two brothers made for many great stories and Carol was always willing to tell and retell the often hilarious escapades of growing up in a small town during simpler times. Having a family full of fun with a mother who also enjoyed a good laugh gave Carol a great sense of humor and an ability to laugh at herself. She was great fun to be around.
As a mother, Carol was your staunch supporter. She had a very clear sense of right and wrong, and had high standards for herself and her children. But she did all this with love and guidance, never asking more of others than she did of herself.
Carol loved her Catholic faith and always attended Mass. She raised her children in the faith and was an outstanding example of Christ’s love. She never spoke harsh words against others, and supported her church by acts of generosity of both her time and resources. She lived a long and fruitful life and will always live within the hearts of her friends and family.
***To view the Funeral Service of Carole Reiche please click HERE***
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