Family and friends will gather December 2 to remember Nell Rehm. Here’s the remembrance they are sharing with her community now:
Nell Adele Rehm passed away peacefully in her West Seattle home of 74 years with her husband Richardson (Dick) Rehm at her side. Nell was born on February 20, 1930 in Los Angeles, California, where she grew up with her older sister Margaret Anzul. She met Dick through the friendship of their mothers. He enjoyed meals with Nell’s family when he was home on leave from the Navy, thus their relationship blossomed. Dick and Nell were married on September 10, 1949 and moved to West Seattle promptly thereafter and started their family.
With two little daughters (Sue and Terrie), Nell began a life of involvement in the community and her children’s lives, from helping at the kids’ preschools, the girl’s scout activities, right up through cheering sons Tom and Dave in high school soccer – she was a true “soccer mom”. She also created a welcoming home full of games and books for friends of her kids, as well as her grandchildren Ian, Kaley, Kisa, Cecelia, and Simon.
As a long-time member of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in West Seattle, Nell was an active member. She taught Sunday School for many years and was very active in Saint Anne’s Guild. She and Dick participated in stewardship activities and new rector search committees, as well as serving as lay readers, Eucharistic ministers and vestry members. Nell enjoyed being a Eucharistic visitor, meeting with home-bound parishioners, as well as leading short services at nursing homes. On Sundays, and any special occasion at the church, you could find Nell in the kitchen coordinating coffee hour and receptions. During the annual Rummage Sale, Nell and long-time friend Donna Bystrom set up the Treasure Table with unique donated items. Nell was active in the Altar Guild and especially enjoyed creating floral arrangements for the altar, often with flowers from her own garden.
Although Nell was a stay-at-home mom when the children were young, she eventually took a seasonal job in the book department at Frederick & Nelson downtown. From there she had the wonderful opportunity to work with owner Cathy Clemons at the Episcopal Bookstore, which she dearly loved, and was well known for her helpful, kind presence.
Nell enjoyed travel, whether it was road trips around Washington with the family or train trips she took with Dick. The family spent many vacations at the family property on San Juan Island, but also at Lake Shawnigan on Vancouver Island, B.C. Road trips around the state always involved mom in the front seat with the map unfolded in her lap. Dick and Nell crisscrossed the country several times on the train, sometimes going across on the southern routes and sometimes up north through Canada. In later years, they went on several scenic train trips in Washington and on the Oregon coast.
Nell loved to garden. Her backyard was full of seasonal color and, in the front, she grew many beautiful roses. She was a member of the West Seattle Garden Club for many years, organizing programs and keeping records as the historian. At home, she enjoyed keeping her bird feeders well stocked for her feathered friends.
Nell is survived by Dick, her husband of 74 years, and four children: Susan (JT) Quanbeck, Terrie Ingram, Tom (Pam) Rehm and David Rehm; five grandchildren: Ian (Jena) Rehm, Kaley Rehm, Kisa Quanbeck (Desmond Cohen), Cecelia Rehm and Simon Rehm; and two great-granddaughters, Revna Cohen and Ruby Rehm.
A funeral service honoring Nell will be held at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California Ave.SW, on December 2, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, please consider a remembrance to the charity of your choice.
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