Margaret Irene "Peggy" McNichol
Portland, OR - Margaret Irene "Peggy" McNichol, 62, of Portland, Ore., passed away May, 18, 2018, after a sudden illness.
Peggy was born in Detroit, Mich., on Nov. 18, 1955, to Dr. Lawrence J. and Florence McNichol. She was the second of six children, a generous, thoughtful, and most of all, funny sister, who forever kept everyone laughing. Joy was her natural state.
Peggy attended Immaculate Heart of Mary grade school and in 1973, graduated from Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Mich. The previous year, she had coerced her older sister, Kathy, into NOT staying at home and attending Mercy College, but instead going to the University of Michigan in order to set an important precedent for her younger siblings—Peggy called it "Get Out of the House." In September 1973, Peggy happily joined Kathy at UofM. She graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her early career took her to Seattle where she fell in love with the Northwest. She was a pediatric nurse for Seattle Children's Hospital and then nursing supervisor until 1985 when she moved to Oakland, Cal. There Peggy worked as a pediatric trauma nurse for Children's Hospital Oakland.
During her time at Seattle Children's, Peggy made frequent visits to San Francisco, Cal., where she also had many good friends. She fell hard for one of them, Sue Sell, and on July 9, 1984, they made a quiet commitment to each other. They remained deeply in love during their 34 years together. Their lives were filled with shared adventure, joy, and so much laughter. Peg and Sue thought they had the best marriage in the world, and many of their friends agreed. On October 23, 2012, they were finally able to legally marry in New York City, which gave them great peace and happiness.
During the couple's Bay Area years, Peggy often found herself thinking about going to medical school. One day, after straightening one more new intern's lab coat and advising her on her stethoscope, she called the University of California - San Francisco Medical School and said she wanted to enroll that fall. Two years later, after working Oakland Children's ER night shift and attending pre-med classes at California State Hayward, she was accepted by Thomas Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, Penn. When she told her parents she was going to med school, her mom said, "But honey, you'll be 40 when you graduate." Peggy said, "Mom, I'll be 40 anyway."
Peggy graduated from "Jeff" in June 1996 and happily returned to the West Coast to be a family practice resident at Oregon Science & Health University. She completed her residency in 1999 and joined Northwest Primary Care as a family physician, where she was later made a partner. Peggy loved the people she worked with, and she loved patient care. She was a dedicated physician, generous with her talents, time, and heart. Her patients were always on her mind.
Family was more important to Peggy than anything. Peg loved storytelling, solving your problems, making people laugh, and watching the sun come up while she sat on the deck of her beloved Whidbey Island home, where Peg and Sue planned to move after Peggy retired May 30. She delighted in the outdoors: a walk in the woods, a view of the sea, a trek on a mountain trail, and always, always, being first to sight the next soaring eagle. She had faith in God and was a member of First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Portland.
Peggy will be so missed by so many who loved her. She was preceded in death by her father, Larry, and her brother Kevin McNichol, both of whom she carried in her heart and mind every day. In addition to her wife, she is survived by her mother, Flo, of Novi, Mich.; her sisters, Kathy (Mike) Lawless of Chicago, Ill., Debbie (Phil) Clark of Jackson, Mich., Patty (Jay) Stark of Naples, Fla., and Anne Marie (Arthur) Schneider of Shanghai, China; sister-in-law Michele McNichol of Houston, Tex.; brothers- and sisters-in law, Ken and Cindy (Sell) Gullingsrud of Sammamish, Wash., and Jack and Charleine Sell of Coupeville, Wash.; 17 nieces and nephews, and seven grandnieces and grandnephews.
A memorial funeral service will be held on June 16, 2018, 11 a.m., at First Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1816 NW Irving St., Portland, OR 97209. Interment will take place at a later date at Sunnyside Cemetery, Coupeville, Wash. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the First Immanuel Lutheran Church Steeple Fund or Operation Smile at 1.888.677.6453.
Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News on Jun. 10, 2018.