Maria Reish

Maria Terezia "Mitzi" Reish

Sunday, November 15th, 1925 - Wednesday, December 25th, 2019
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Maria (Mitzi) Reish was born in the fall of 1925 in Sopron, Hungary, a town bordering Austria
which she loved and never intended to leave. Hungarian by birth yet German by ancestry, she
was born to two loving parents, Julius and Katharina Feichtinger. Mitzi, as she was
affectionately called, was the oldest of six children: Gyula, Imre, Kathe, Feri, and Resi. She
experienced a wonderful childhood, loved school and had a mind for mathematics and
business. Unfortunately, things changed with the passing of her father. At the age of 13, while
her mother managed the family business she took over the household caring for the younger
children, cleaning, and cooking for her family and their workers. Managing her household, her
love for business along with her culinary gift would eventually lead to a lifelong career that she
Sadly, WWII disrupted her family’s life and they had to eventually flee their home. Mitzi, being
the oldest at 19, was sent on and separated from her family; she lived in a displaced person’s
camp in Austria for over 2 years. It was there while she worked in an American officer’s club
that she met the soldier who would eventually capture her heart and take her on an adventure
further from home than she ever had imagined. Tony was her husband for over 40 years; she
loved him and she was grateful for how he provided for her and family once they located them
in Germany. They were married and had their first son, Anton in Linz, Austria. In 1952, she left
Europe and family behind to begin a new life in Fort Dix, NJ. She was grateful to have a place
to call home. While in Fort Dix, they had another son, Tom.
Happily, they built a home in Bordentown, NJ where she cheerfully resided for the majority of
her life. She began her 30 plus year career in a cafeteria in Fort Dix where she learned to
speak and write proper English and worked her way into management. She loved her job
laboring with joy and excellence. Later in life, she gave birth to her daughter, Kathy. Maria was
a devoted mother, an extremely hard worker, an amazing cook and baker, and a faithful friend.
Mitzi understood loss. She experienced hardship. She was an overcomer, and she was
grateful for all that she had. Though she experienced great loss over her lifetime, she retold the
stories of fleeing the Russians and living as a displaced person with a sense of adventure
rather than sorrow. She never focused on her hardships but always reminded everyone to
count their blessings. She would always say that things don’t matter—they can be replaced;
only people matter. If one could only use three words to describe her, those words would be
loving, grateful, and generous.
She loved the simple things. A handful of daisies picked from a field, a backyard picnic with
family and friends, a good meal, a hard days work. She loved her church and served faithfully
whether it was in the kitchen, with the woman’s guild, or serving members in their homes. She
loved people and never had a negative word to say about anyone.
On December 25th, 2019, Mitzi passed peacefully at her home in Virginia where she resided
during her senior years with her daughter’s family. Entering into her Savior’s arms on the day
we celebrate his birth, she received the greatest gift of Christmas.
Anton (Tony) Reish, her firstborn, preceded her in death in 2002. She leaves behind Anton’s
wife, Margaret and two children: Tom Reish and his wife Patty of Westmoreland, NH and Kathy
Ranfeld and her husband Dan of Chesapeake, Virginia. She has five grandchildren: Victor,
Denis, and Svyeta Reish, and Nathaniel and Christina Ranfeld.
Maria will be dearly missed and will always be remembered for her heart of love, her beautiful
smile, her precious laugh, her positive outlook, and her kind and grateful heart.
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Karen Thain

Posted at 05:22pm
My dear Aunt Mitzi – you were almost like a grandmother to me because my real one was so far away in Germany. It was you that we visited every summer all through my growing up years. It was dad that insisted that we get up super early while it was yet dark so that we could avoid the Washington DC traffic to get to your place. Could we not have left after traffic? You were only 3 hours away! But the thing that got us out of bed at such an early hour was store bought cereal – a rare treat. There were so many things that we had to look forward to when we came to visit you. You were such a fantastic cook/baker and had a way of making everything seem so effortless for you. Then there were the little things (that we never got at home) like individual boxes of cereal, little soda bottles that were tucked inside a napkin and then put inside a glass, homemade croissants and other pastries, hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill outside, the swimming pool, popsicles, the squash casserole you made if Tom was going to be there, roasted marshmallows, the pool table, video games and so much more! I’m not sure if you were trying to spoil us or not, but we sure did feel special! I love the way you and mom had such a great relationship. With all of your family so far away, it was wonderful you had each other. Thank you for opening up your home and taking good care of her for 4 years before she married Dad. I’ll always remember fondly the times when the relatives came over from Germany to visit. Even if there was 10-15 of us sharing one bathroom! That was also when the love and laughter (and food) really multiplied! I’ll always remember you for your smile, laugh, easygoingness and strength. You overcame many challenges and heartbreaks in your lifetime. Sweet to think you spent your last years with a daughter who gave her all because you deserved it. You would surely be proud of her.


Posted at 10:33am
My sweet little Oma. I will never forget the nights I would rub lotion onto her hands, and her on mine. A young girl I was and the most exciting thing for me was being able to sleep in my Omas bedroom with her. Then waking up to her saying she’s still tired and didn’t I know her middle name was “tired”. I think I need to coin that one for myself :). Cooking apple turnovers and watching her joy in cooking. I will miss my Oma. But I know she is an good place. -Svyeta

Victor Reish

Posted at 11:40pm
I have wonderful memories of going to her house as a child, watching her bake tray on tray of apple turnovers, and asking her nosy questions about how she came to America. Rest in peace, Oma, your patience, kindness, and love will always be missed.

Julia Frederick

Posted at 10:49pm
Here’s a picture of us on the back porch.

Julia Frederick

Posted at 10:41pm
Ms. Mitzi was like the most beautiful bright ray of sunshine in my day for nearly every weekday morning of the last 3 months of her life. I had the honor and privilege of being her hospice nurse. She was such a delight to care for because of her deep joy. Each morning that I greeted her with “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it.” she would smile and say something like, “That’s so true!” One day she even finished my sentence. It was a surprise for me and yet I could tell she believed it :)
The first time I took her outside on the back porch she was so happy! We watched Daisy the dog dart across the yard and bark. We talked about how wonderful God was to make all the beautiful trees and leaf colors and the sun was shining so beautifully. I knew it was good for us both to be outside enjoying God’s creation and getting fresh air and natural vitamin D.
I loved her laugh and accent and personality. She was SO precious and sweet and the aroma of Christ Just flooded forth from her and was a testimony to all she came in contact with. She was uniquely special! There was just nobody like her!!! I can’t wait to dance with her on the streets of gold someday worshiping our Savior together...until then Mama Maria our hearts will miss you!!! Love, Julia Frederick

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