Regina Ursula Thiel

October 20, 1937 - December 24, 2023
Regina Ursula Thiel

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Zur Erinnerung an meine Mutti./ In loving remembrance of my mother.

Regina Thiel was a survivor. She was just 7 when all the people of her birth town, now known as Kaliningrad, had a few hours to pack one suitcase and make their way southwest to safety, to what is now northern Germany. WWII broke a lot of people and the dreams they may have had. Her parents had WWI just behind them.

Regina started working at the age of 14, in the historic town of Celle, in the fabric department at Karstadt. She learned a great deal about fabrics, which probably influenced her lifelong sewing and knitting hobbies. Celle was also where Regina got married and gave birth to me. We also resided in Bad Kreuznach, Waldböckelheim, and Idar Oberstein. After moving to Birmingham, Michigan in the US at age 28, she learned English while studying to become a hair stylist, then she landed a job at the very elegant Bardha Salon, where she stayed for 40 years. She worked hard and made enough money to raise a daughter mostly on her own, travel, buy a condo, and then build a house with a swimming pool when she moved to Wilmington, North Carolina to be close to me after retiring at age 70. A self-made woman, Regina was a champion at having manifested the American Dream!

Regina loved animals, particularly her cats, and the birds that she healed. She delighted in growing things in her garden and decorating her house to the utmost. My mother was a fashionista, a gourmet cook, and a free spirit; and travels took us on many adventures around the world. She introduced me to swimming with dolphins and photography, she instilled in me a deep compassion for animals. She brought me to the US at age 7. The rest is history, better said herstory. Her life wasn’t always easy, but it was a good long life. She chose the high holy day of Christmas Eve to leave her body at age 86. Her mother came to take her along to reunite with the ancestors at 3:45 a.m. on 12/24/2023. She was peaceful and serene.

Regina is survived by her daughter, Maike Walbrecht and partner Charlie Daniels of Wilmington, sister-in-law Marlene Thiel and her children, cousins on both maternal and paternal sides of the family in Germany, and many friends on both sides of the Atlantic.


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  • February 08, 2024
    Helga says:
    This is the last greeting and goodbye to my very good friend Regina. We shared many happy times at her beautiful home and pool along with lotsof of laughter and fun. She will be missed greatly. Rest in piece, dear Regina. Always, your fried Helga.

  • February 06, 2024
    Liz Myziuk says:
    I'm do sorry for your loss Maike . I know grief is hard but it does get better. We were just kids when you and your Mom came to Birmingham ,Mich and I remember some of the funny stories you told me when you first arrived . Your Mom was a survivor and I didn't know the back story of her life ,wow . We both had strong Mom's I remember she gave us all shag haircuts and made us feel beautiful. She was beautiful too . She was the cool Mom !! Rest in Peace Gina and prayers for You and Charlie, Maike . Love you ❤️

  • February 06, 2024
    Liz Myziuk says:
    Maike , I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mom . We were children when we 1st met . Your Mother was a beautiful woman and I liked her. She was the cool Mom. She gave us all shag haircuts and made us feel beautiful too . Her story is one of survival and something that I didn't know about . Our Mom's worked hard ! I remember some of the funny stories you told me when you and your Mom 1st came to Birmingham . She will be sadly missed Maike, She's still with you , you know that . Rest in Peace Gina . Prayers for You and Charlie . Love you, liz

  • February 06, 2024
    Nina McLean says:
    Oh Maike what a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. All that she accomplished and the life she made for you two is inspiring. I know you miss her. You certainly loved her so very well.

  • February 06, 2024
    Michael Molinar says:
    So sorry for your loss. Altho we’ve not been together for many years I remember your mother quite vividly as being a beautiful spirit with style and always fascinating. She has a lot to be proud of especially with you to carry on her amazing legacy.