Margaret Irene "Peggy" McNichol
1955 - 2018
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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.




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Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News on Jun. 10, 2018.
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46 entries
September 21, 2018
I just found out about this on my last visit to meet my new doctor. Dr. McNichol had a wonderful bedside manner for a primary care doc. It makes sense that she was a nurse first. She was the first primary care doc that I came to really trust since she listened to what I said and didn't make me feel weird discussing anything. I'm sad to hear she didn't get to enjoy her retirement. The world needs more people like her.
August 28, 2018
I just learned this tragic news today. My heart is heavy and I'm sending love her way even though she is no longer with us. I was Peggy's patient for almost 10 years and I can tell you she made a Dr.'s office visit something to actually look forward to. She listened and respected my thoughts, empowering me to trust my intuition and guiding me when I needed it. I will forever be grateful about the way she handled my 1st ever outbreak of poison oak; I thought it was a skin eating disease and she handled that nightmare like an angel!:) I was so excited to tell her I was finally going to follow Dr.'s orders and get a test she told me to do (ahem) 5 years ago. I hope she knows what an impact she has had on the lives of those of us she treated. My condolences to those who have an empty space in their lives where she once resided. You will be missed, Peggy. Thank you for everything, sister. Peace & blessings to all~
Treasa VanEaton
August 8, 2018
I was a patient of hers for 10 years. She was the best doctor I ever had.
Marie Harbin
August 3, 2018
I was a patient of Dr. McNichol's over 15 years ago, but due to a change in my insurance I couldn't have her as my primary care doctor anymore. I got a new job 4 years ago and was thrilled when I found out she was in network for me again. She allieveated so much anxiety for me about going to the doctor, she was just so easy to talk to and was always so understanding. There was just something so special about her. She truly made you feel at ease and feel heard when you came in to see her. I was at NW Primary Care for an appointment today and burst into tears when they told me of her passing. She was such a kind, compassionate, funny, patient, amazing person! She spoke so lovingly of her wife and told stories of her sisters, I am so incredibly sorry to you all for her loss.
July 12, 2018
I just learned of Dr. McNichol's passing and am so sad. She was my and my daughter's doctor for 15 years, starting when my daughter was a toddler. She listened to all our concerns with unrushed kindness, gentle humor and wisdom. She provided excellent, compassionate care. Her humanity and genuine concern for patients always shined.

I'm especially sorry that she didn't get to enjoy her well-deserved retirement with her loving wife. She left the world a better place.
Michelle
July 9, 2018
Peggy was my doctor for twenty years or so, as well as my son's. She was always so kind and cheerful. I am so saddened to hear of her passing, such a great loss to us all and especially to her family.
Natalie
July 9, 2018
It's so difficult to wrap my head around this. She was such a wonderful and personable doctor and I'm so shocked to learn of her passing just when she was getting ready to retire. My sympathies go out to her family and all those affected by her loss. I will always remember her smile and kindness but also her expertise with me. Love and peace to you and your family.
July 8, 2018
I worked with Dr. McNichol when she was first hired at Northwest Primary Care. I learned so much from her, and it was a blast because of her completely wonderful sense of humor. On weekends or evenings, Peggy would visit patients who were recovering in long term care or were suffering from terminal illness. She was one of the kindest human beings I've ever known. She treasured her relationship with Sue and visits from her nieces and nephews. All losses are hard, but because Peggy was caring to so so many people, this loss is just especially hard. Sue, I'm so enormously sad for you. I hope you will take comfort in knowing that Peg loved you deeply.
Heidi Grevstad
June 26, 2018
I just found out about Dr McNichol's passing. I was a patient of hers until the April of this year. During my last appointment we discussed how sad I was that she wouldn't be my doctor anymore but how thrilled i was for her to be retiring. She spoke about how excited she was for both her and her wife. I'm without words that she passed so suddenly. My heart breaks for her wife and family. She often spoke about her sisters fondly and she made me laugh so often when I was worried. She was a fantastic doctor and I will really miss our talks. All my best to you all.
Victoria Gentry
June 20, 2018
I just recently found out about Peg's passing. She got me through nursing school and state boards. She, I, and another friend named Mark were known as the '3 musketeers' at our dorm. Kathy and Debbie were also at U of M at the same time. She was always the smart one so I was not surprised when she went to med school. I remember visiting one time and seeing her picture on a billboard. I was so proud! I would brag about her to my nursing students. We were hoping to see her and Sue before they left the area. I am sorry she did not get to experience the joy of retirement but I am sure she is experiencing a much truer joy now.
My deepest deepest condolences to Sue and the family. May you take some solace in the fact that she was so loved and she loved so much in return. She will always have a special place in my heart as I know she will in yours as well.
Helen Bressler
June 19, 2018
Linda Corbett
June 19, 2018
I only saw her once as a provider at Northwest Primary Care, and she changed a diagnosis of mine from something complex to something super simple. She was so kind and supportive, and I am very sad at her passing.
Amber Stowell
June 15, 2018
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John Agnew
June 15, 2018
When I heard Dr. McNichol was going to retire at the end of May, I quick made an appointment to see her one last time before her retirement. We talked about what she planned to do next.
I gave her a 2018 calendar my husband and I produce - she looked at all the pictures and we talked about them. I'm so sorry she didn't get a chance to put it on her wall at home and flip the pages until the end of the year...
My thoughts and prayers to Sue, her friends and co-workers.
Karen Williams
June 15, 2018
Wishing comfort, solace, and peace for all of Peggys family and friends.
John Agnew
Friend
June 14, 2018
Peggy was a delightful woman and an extraordinary doctor. I will miss her dearly. My heart goes out to Sue and the rest of her family.

Diane Sawyer
June 14, 2018
A lightness and energy in this world that cannot be replaced or forgotten. I'm grateful to have known the love and verve of Peg McNichol. My deepest sympathies to Sue and family.
Kristi Koebke
June 13, 2018
Gwen Hannon
June 13, 2018
Peg's zest for life was unmatched, and she could brighten any room just by entering. She will always be remembered by me and my daughter for her warmth, her humor, and the many acts of kindness and generosity she demonstrated throughout the years. This world is a less joyful place without her radiant presence. Our hearts go out to Sue and all the family.
Barbara Forster
Friend
June 12, 2018
Deepest sympathy to all who are grieving Peggy's unexpected passing.
Emalyn Carr
June 12, 2018
I just found out today that my PCP Dr. McNichol has passed away. I am shocked and very saddened by this news. She's been such a great doctor to me and my husband and both my grown daughters. I felt like she grew to be my friend as well. Sometimes we'd just chat about our lives and laugh together. I will sorely miss this beautiful soul.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. RIP dear one.
Teena Hval
June 11, 2018
What great memories of being Mercy Girls - fun, laughter, running and hiding from Sister Timothy, and yes, sometimes some deep discussions on growing up. Also, tuna noodle casserole on meatless Fridays with her wonderful family. She was a wonderful woman!
Patty O'Donnell
Classmate
June 11, 2018
she was the best..and will be missed and remembered..hugs to her family and loved ones, this breaks my heart
kathie healy
June 11, 2018
You couldn't find a more Perfect doctor. She was always there for you, gave you her time, listened to every question you had, and really cared.

When she was to retire, I asked her about another
doctor but told her it had to be just like her.

To show you how much we loved her, besides
myself, my mother, my sister, and two cousins all had Dr. Peggy as their physician.

She is greatly going to be missed.
Vicki
June 10, 2018
I went to grade school with Peggy at IHM, played softball together and was in the girl scouts with her as well. What a fun and kind friend she was. Our deepest condolences to her entire family. What a great neighborhood we had in Detroit and such nice neighbors on Mansfield! May you rest in peace. May prayers and good memories comfort your family during this sad difficult time. You definitely made a difference. God bless you always.
Karen Dunne Woodside
June 10, 2018
Am so very sorry to hear about Peggy....SHE was a great woman and amazingly funny friend in high school at MERCY....My thought AND prayers are with you and your family.Lisa Kolbe Climie
Lisa Kolbe Climie
June 10, 2018
From jarrid, jorden and Travis walkers
Stephanie Walker
June 10, 2018
Dr. McNichol was my doctor for 17 years. She was the kind of doctor who actually took the time to get to know you. She knew who you were and the names of your family members. Peggy had such a calmness and patience about her. After my son was born, I had so many questions and visits that were more me overreacting than anything else. She always said, Theres no such thing as overreacting when youre a new mom. You call anytime you need! She will be missed!
Jessika Magnett
June 10, 2018
Doctor margartet was amazing doctor for my sons and for me. She always took out time to talk to us before even finding out why we were having the appointment. When my sons got older I told them if they wanted a male doctor they could change doctors. All three of them said she is our doctor. We were blessed with a great doctor, now she will be missed here. But now she is in heaven with our heavenly FATHER.
Stephanie Walker
June 10, 2018
My high school friend and neighbor. We will always be Mercy "girls", although our lives have brought us to professional womanhood. Sounds like your life was beyond professional, and the tributes describe all your accomplishments and what you have meant to your patients and family. So sad to know this happened on the eve of your retirement. Sounds like a life well lived.
Janet Loesche
June 10, 2018
Though I hadn't seen Peggy in many years, I have fond memories of her from our times together in grade school, high school, and college. She was kind and always fun to be with. My condolences to her family.
Mary Ellen Mulcrone
June 10, 2018
Sue and all of Peg's loved ones should feel proud and comforted by all these posts from patients that Peg touched. How satisfying to know the impact of one's work. Sue, I didn't hear of this sad news until I coincidentally happened to get delivered a paper today on accident. My shock is nothing compared to what you must feel. My heart is breaking for you.❤
Meghan Kelly
June 10, 2018
Joy, is right! That is how I remember Peggy through 12 years of school at IHM and Mercy! What a wonderful life she had, and an incredible legacy to leave. My heart goes out to her wife and family members--I remember them well! Thank you for sharing her story--she is an inspiration to me as I wind down my own nursing career. Love to all.
Beth Sandon-Kleiboer
June 9, 2018
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Amarissa Parker
Friend
June 9, 2018
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.may the God of peace be with you all to bring you some comfort Matthew 5 : 4 ,)with sympathy
S.
June 6, 2018
So sad. Peg was truly an amazing woman and good friend. My heart goes out to Sue, family and friends.
Georgeann Edford
June 6, 2018
Oh, this breaks my heart! Dr. McNichol was my PCP for a number of years. She was The Best. Easygoing, hilarious, compassionate and without judgment. So, so lovely. Was delighted to hear she was retiring - was excited for her next adventures. Such an enormous loss. My love and condolences to Sue, her partner, and all of her family and friends.
Jennifer Lewandowski
May 31, 2018
I learned today thats Peggy had passed and am truly shocked. She was the greatest Dr Ive had know me. It was an honor to have her care for me for 15 years. She would just make the time to make her patients first. Im deeply saddened. May her spirit fly free and we all remember such an amazing person.
Shane Blitch
May 30, 2018
I planned to drop by the clinic today to say goodbye and give her a little retirement gift on her last day. I am just devastated to learn of her passing. I thought of her as one of those rare people who light up this world with their presence. She was truly the most genuine, caring physician I've ever encountered. My condolences to her family and friends; she will be deeply missed.
Jessica Jazdzewski
Acquaintance
May 29, 2018
November 1st. 2002<br />Dr. Peggy with Ileah Inez.
Dr.Peggy was our family doctor and trusted friend.
I was her patient for 18 years.
She delivered my first child almost 16 years ago.
I am so grateful to have photographs of her from that special day.
Both of our children have grown up in her care.
With each visit, she always made us feel special and cared for.
She often shared happy memories of her nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. We enjoyed the little stories she would share, making us feel like part of her family.
She will be missed dearly.
Cari Magliaro
Friend
May 29, 2018
I was Dr. McNichol's patient for over 10 years. She was an exceptional doctor and her passing is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to her family, friends and all those touched by her care and sense of humor.
Jean Ekstrom
May 29, 2018
Down-to-earth, good humored, quick to understand and helpful. Dr. Peggy made an easy personal connection with me, and I suspect her other patients, and shared her own stories. I knew she was going to retire and was looking forward to missing her. I'm so sorry that she didn't get to enjoy some retirement.
Bridget Downey
May 25, 2018
In my 67 years of life I have had two exceptional doctors. Both were women and both had previously been nurses. Dr. McNichol was the kindest, funniest and most caring physician and a sincere listener. I am broken hearted at the loss of this amazing woman. I saw her two weeks ago and we said goodbye because she was retiring. I wished her happiness in her new life and thanked her for being my Doctor. As I left I wanted to hug her, but, I didnt. I wish I had.
Kathie Green
Acquaintance
May 24, 2018
She was the kindest person and a great doctor. So sad to hear this news. Prayers for all friends, family, co-workers and patients.
Carla Clark
Acquaintance
May 23, 2018
You always had a great sense of humor. You will be missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting you...
Ellen Hewes
Coworker
May 23, 2018
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Staff of Young's Funeral Home
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