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Vet’s death explained

A pathologist’s report says the death in September of well-known Nevada County veterinarian Dr. Margaret Reister Morey was from a sudden asthma attack.

Nevada County Chief Deputy Coroner Cathy Valceschini confirmed Thursday what forensic pathologist Dr. Donald Henrikson had suspected all along. “Dr. Margaret,” as she was known, died Sept. 5 at her Nevada City home from the respiratory ailment that plagued her life.

Henrikson had also suspected a recent, major weight loss might have contributed to Reister Morey’s death at 50. But that was apparently not a factor.



The death baffled clients and friends, who were used to the veterinarian’s outgoing and healthy demeanor. Valceschini said there were no signs of drugs, trauma or foul play in her death – “none whatsoever.”

When interviewed in September, Valceschini said she had received more inquiries about Reister Morey’s death than any other in her 25 years on the job.




Reister Morey’s widower, Gary Morey said he received more than 1,000 cards and letters after losing his “wife beyond description.” He said has spent $400 in postage for thank-you notes.

“She was quite an amazing person and my best friend,” Morey said.

Morey said the community’s response has made it easier for his family to go on with life. “It’s made it very bearable,” he said.

Patti Miele, the receptionist at the Brunswick Veterinary Clinic in Grass Valley where Reister Morey worked, said the popular veterinarian is not easily forgotten.

“She was one of those ladies that was so wonderful that you can’t help but smile when you think about her.”

Morey and Miele said Reister Morey often waived payment from those who could not afford to have their animals helped. In light of that, a special fund to help pay for animal care for those who cannot has been established at the clinic.

Another fund has been established in her name at Kansas State University for a veterinarian student scholarship. See the attached box for details on how to donate.

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How to help:

Donations to the veterinarian care fund may be made to:

– The Dr. Margaret Fund, account 2875, Brunswick Veterinary Clinic, 10145 Olympia Park Road, Grass Valley 95945.

Donations to the veterinary student scholarship fund may be made to:

– The Dr. Margaret Reister Fund, KSU, College of Veterinary Medicine, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, Attention Cheri Ubel, 103 Trotter Hall, Manhattan, Kan., 66506.


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