Obituary of Michele Creech
Michele Kathleen Reilly Creech died Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 at the age of 72 following a complicated illness. Michele was born in New York, New York on November 23, 1949 to parents Michael Reilly and Kathleen Kenny Reilly. She was the youngest of four girls and attended grammar school at Good Shepherd Catholic School. She graduated from Mount St. Ursula Catholic high school in the Bronx and received her bachelor’s degree at Hunter College. During the summer of 1970, Michele met her would-be husband Devy in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as she was sailing back from a tour of Europe with long-time friend Mary Egan. Devy was on his way home from a study abroad program in Lyon, France with two cases of champagne from his French uncle Jean-Marie. Due to customs rules, both cases had to be consumed en route or be confiscated as contraband upon arrival, so Devy was often seen giving away champagne. Michele was assigned to the same dining table as Devy, but she was suffering from food poisoning and dismissed him as a playboy. Nevertheless, they kept in touch over the following months by exchanging post cards between New York City and Chapel Hill, NC where Devy was finishing his degree at UNC. After driving north to drop his sister Jackie off at Manhattan College the following fall, Devy joined Michele for a home-cooked meal of Boeuf Bourgignon at her family’s apartment on Seamen Avenue. That was Devy’s introduction to Michele’s love of cooking and the beginning of a long-distance courtship that led Michele to accept a dietetic internship at Duke Hospital in Durham, NC.
Michele and Devy were married at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in New York City on October 7, 1972. They shared their first home in Quantico, VA where Devy was stationed with the Marine Corps. Michele worked as a dietitian at Woodbridge Hospital before transferring to Carterett County General when Devy’s job took them to Morehead City, NC near Camp Lejeune. When Devy was called to Vieques, Puerto Rico for a year, Michele briefly returned north to live with her mother while working as the registered dietitian at a small Jewish hospital in New York City. Following Devy’s stint in Vieques, Michele gave birth to her first daughter Marie and the family returned to the Quantico area, where Michele became a stay-at-home mom. After subsequent moves to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Canandaigua, NY, Michele gave birth to two more daughters, Kathleen in 1979 and Liz in 1981. The family then settled down in Devy’s hometown of Chapel Hill, NC, where Michele’s last daughter and only son were born; Caroline in 1984 and Michael in 1986.
While staying home to raise her own children, Michele ran a daycare out of her home in Chapel Hill for 11 years. She returned to work in 1994 as the nutritionist for Operation Breakthrough Headstart in Durham and finished her career as a nutritionist for the Durham County Health Department in 2013. Throughout her life, Michele loved cooking, baking, reading, and entertaining family. She lovingly prepared Sunday dinner every week for 3 decades, made acres of Christmas cookies every year, and celebrated every birthday or holiday with at least one, if not multiple homemade cakes. She enjoyed escaping to aerobics class twice a week while her children were young and walked on her treadmill to stay fit until her early 60s. She famously hated sand, but loved reading on the beach and could tear through a stack of novels in a single vacation, with Danielle Steele and Jude Deveraux among her favorite authors. She enjoyed watching her favorite shows, like “General Hospital”, “Golden Girls”, “Desperate Housewives”, and “Gray’s Anatomy” and preferred light-hearted films starring Audrey Hepburn, Richard Gere,
Robert Redford and Patrick Swayze. She grew up listening to The Beatles, took guitar lessons in college, and danced to My Michelle as her first dance with Devy at their wedding. As a young girl, her friend Mary remembers that Michele was always very smart in school, that she cherished her lavender bike, loved to roller skate, and always wore a big skate key around her neck. Her kids remember Michele’s dry wit, her sarcastic turns-of-phrase, her intense work ethic, and her unyielding dedication to her children.
She is survived by her husband Lt. Col. Walter “Dave” Creech, USMC of Chapel Hill; her twin sisters, Kathleen Milhaven of New Paltz, NJ and Florence Krupa of Stamford, CT; her daughter, Marie Figueroa of Needham, Massachusetts, Marie’s husband Jose Figueroa and their children, Sebastian and Brendan; her daughter Kathleen Sullivan of Apex, NC, Kathleen’s husband, Ray Sullivan, and their children, Lennon and Hugo; her daughter Liz Creech of Morrisville, NC; her daughter Caroline Goldin of Dayville, CT, and her son Michael Creech of Holly Springs, NC, Michael’s wife Deborah Neffa Creech, and their daughter, Myla.
Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill is assisting the Creech family.

Published by Legacy on Mar. 13, 2022.

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