Athelea May ReifsnyderJune 12, 1921 – Dec. 5, 2016

Athelea May Reifsnyder

Athelea May Reifsnyder, of Langley, peacefully passed from this life to the next on Monday, Dec. 5 while in her 95th year.

Athelea was born in Philadelphia on Sunday, June 12, 1921, but spent her early years growing up in Palmyra, N.J. with parents David Augustus and Esther Irene Kitchen, and a brother, William David Kitchen.

She attended Palmyra High School and upon graduation in 1940 entered into three years of nurse’s training at the Cooper Hospital School of Nursing in Camden, N.J. She successfully graduated in 1943 as a registered nurse and spent the next two years at Cooper Hospital assisting as a surgery nurse in the ear, nose and throat department.

She married her sweetheart, James Stanley Reifsnyder of Collingswood, N.J., on Dec. 23, 1943, and had three children: Judith Nancy, James Stanley and Cynthia Marie. Their marriage together lasted 57 years, and ended with the passing of her husband in January, 2000.

For many years after her marriage, Athelea remained in southern New Jersey raising and caring for her family. She became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints during the late 1950s, and for several years worked as a volunteer police officer, directing traffic and controlling a children’s crossing at a busy school intersection.

In 1972, with her husband seeking retirement and the children now on their own, the sudden passing of her mother necessitated the sale of their home. She and Jim moved from New Jersey to St. Petersburg, Fla. in order to move in with, and care for, Athelea’s ailing father.

During this time, Athelea was employed for the next 14 years as a home health care visiting nurse, receiving her daily patient assignments through Upjohn Health Care Services, and as a medical records courier for Tampa Bay Orthopedics.

In 2004, Athelea moved to Whidbey Island to be closer to her daughter, Cynthia. She settled in Langley, joined the local LDS Church and remained a faithful member until her passing.

She loved cats and always kept one in her home for companionship. She took on the nickname “Kit” — derived from her maiden name, Kitchen — and as she had done for so many years prior, continued in her pursuit to serve others, expecting nothing in return but the joy of knowing that she had made a difference.

Athelea loved people, laughter and life in general. She followed a Spirit-driven life of rendering herself available to her Lord, her church and to her fellow human family. She lived a simple life of dependence upon God, and trusted Him for all of this life’s necessary provisions.

Athelea May “Kit” Reifsnyder is survived by her three children: Judy Vearling of Northfield Mass.; James Reifsnyder of Lynnville, Ind.; and Cynthia Applegate of Greenbank. She was blessed with six grandchildren: Jason, Randy, Claudia, Courtney, Aaron and Stephen; and five great-grandchildren: Noah, Alexander, Taylor, Samuel and Elijah.

A memorial celebration of life was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Saturday, Dec. 17 in Langley.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to: Enso House, 6339 Wahl Road, Freeland, WA 98249 and/or Hospice of Whidbey General Hospital, 101 N. Main St, Coupeville, WA 98239.

More in Obituaries

Richard Evans Clyde: Sept. 29, 1925-Jan. 24, 2018

Richard Evans Clyde, 92, a lifelong resident of Whidbey Island and a… Continue reading

Frank John Foote: March 7, 1956-Jan. 26, 2018

Frank John Foote, age 61, of Langley, passed away on Jan. 26,… Continue reading

Larry Joe Wicox: July 25,1945 – Jan. 24, 2018

Larry, a resident of Freeland, lost his more than two-year battle with… Continue reading

Richmond Carl Simon: July 21, 1951 – Jan. 16, 2018

Rich passed into his mother’s arms on Jan. 16 at the Evergreen… Continue reading

Jack Negus: Jan. 24, 2018

Jack Negus passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home of… Continue reading

Sine Hough: Nov. 30, 1956-Jan. 24, 2018

Sine Hough, 61, passed away peacefully in the presence of her family… Continue reading

Allene Lois Howard: July 26, 1947-Jan. 13, 2018

Allene Lois (Dibbert) Howard, 70, of Greenbank, went to be with her… Continue reading

Laurel Sue Miller: April 12, 1940-Jan. 2, 2018

In loving memory of Laurel Sue Miller Lori, 77, of Coupeville passed… Continue reading

Most Read