Nancy Rae Reinisch (3/31/1953 — 2/15/2019)
Nancy Rae Reinisch concluded her journey with breast cancer on Feb. 15th, at home with her family in Glenwood Springs. Nancy and her husband, Dr. Paul Salmen, have called Glenwood home for 36 years, where they raised their sons, Chas and Marco Salmen.
Nancy was born in Chicago, to parents C. Richard and Marianne Gross Reinisch. She was the 2nd of four siblings, brothers Steve and David, younger sister Katie. Nancy graduated from New Trier High School in 1971. She attended Colorado College, graduated in 1975 with a major in Bilingual Education and a passion for activism and community service. There she met her life partner, Paul, in 1973.
Nancy completed her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from DU in 1982, and spent the rest of career serving others as a marriage and family psychotherapist at GMA. Nancy was the founder and inspiration for numerous community initiatives including: Project ChARLIE (Chemical Abuse Resolution Lies in Education), the Advocate Safehouse Project, the Mother’s Day Mile, the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon Team, and the Valley View Cancer “Coffee Walk and Talk Group.” She was the 1995 recipient of the Garfield County Humanitarian Award, and the Athena Award winner in 2007.
Nancy was an accomplished triathlete and USTA certified triathlon coach. She completed 27 Tri-Glenwood Triathlons. In 2007, she published “Chemosabee: A Triathlete’s Journey through the First Year of Breast Cancer.” She guided blind triathlete Nancy Stevens to a World Championship in the Physically Challenged Division in Honolulu in 2005. She represented the US at the ITU World Championships in the 60-65 division in Chicago in 2015. Despite living with cancer for 13 years, she reached her goal of finishing exactly 100 triathlons in July 2018.
After her cancer recurrence in 2016, Nancy reinvented herself as “Nancy Rae” the western cowgirl. She completed the 60-mile Great American Horse Drive in Craig, Colorado, in May 2017.
Nancy’s lasting words of wisdom to all: “be safe, be honest, and drink plenty of water.”
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Valley View Foundation for “Cancer Coffee Walk and Talk Group” (vvh.org). A celebration of her life will be held at the Orchard Center in Carbondale on May 11th.
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