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Vera Marie Reece

Vera Marie Reece (Powell) of Chapel Hill, NC passed away peacefully in her home on June 10, 2015 surrounded by the love of her family. Vera was born June 18, 1935 in Elk Rapids Michigan and was the daughter of the late Marion and Lillian Powell. She attended Gale Institute in Minneapolis and moved shortly thereafter to work at CBQ railroad in Chicago where she met the love of her life, Barry Reece. Their life together began with their marriage at Fort Gordon near Augusta, GA and in 1956, she followed him to Tannenberg, Germany where Barry was stationed in the Army. They later moved to Eldora, IA where they began their family, eventually moving to Blacksburg, VA in 1974 where Barry was a long-time professor at Virginia Tech. During their years in Blacksburg, Vera worked at the VA Tech Veterinary School and was also a volunteer for hospice. In 1996, they moved to Fearrington Village near Chapel Hill, NC.

Vera gave love unconditionally to family, friends, and even strangers who were the recipients of her strong hugs and big smile. She was an accomplished knitter, creating many beautiful baby blankets for friends and family over the years. Her great joys in life included spending time with her family, reading and playing bridge. Vera was a long-time member of the Fearrington Village book club and enjoyed the company of her many friends in the Village. After suffering with the pain of peripheral neuropathy for many years, she established a support group for people with this disease.

Vera was predeceased by her parents, four sisters, Frances, Evelyn, Mildred and Alice, one brother Leon, and one daughter, Colleen Reece. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Dr. Barry L. Reece, three brothers, Jim, Lyle, and Albert, a son Mark (Kim) Reece of Newport VA, three daughters, Lynne Reece of Christiansburg VA, Monique Reece of Denver CO, and Michelle (John) O’Connor of Salem VA., eight grandchildren, Stephanie Meeker, Angela Reece, Casey (Kelly) Reece, Joanna (Justin) Watts, Morgan Myron, Isabella Myron, Christina (David) O’Connor, Jessica O’Connor, and one great-grandson Mark, along with numerous friends and other family members. A celebration of Vera’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy.

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