Teresa Magda Mische, ND
February 11, 1949 – February 13, 2012
Dr. Teresa Magda Mische, of Orcas Island, WA, passed away Feb. 13 while on a scuba diving trip in the Bahamas. She was 63.
Dr. Mische was born February 11, 1949 in Rockville Centre, NY. After earning her BS in Pharmacy from the University of Connecticut in 1971, she traveled west and fell in love with the Grand Canyon. She put her pharmacy career on hold to live there, managing Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, while she backpacked thousands of miles and learned to row the big whitewater of the Colorado River.
Her love of adventure then led Magda on a 19-month world trek in 1977, working and traveling throughout Europe and Asia.
On her return to America in 1979, she worked as a pharmacist in Vancouver, WA, while pursuing her ND degree. Dr. Mische graduated from NCNM in 1990, then moved to Orcas Island, where she worked as a pharmacist while building her practice there. She also lived in Anacortes, WA, where she was a beloved family practice physician on Orcas Island for 22 years.
A lover of wild places, Magda was happiest in nature, especially on and in the water. Although she traveled and lived all over the world, it was the majesty of the Grand Canyon that called her. In all, she made some 23 Canyon trips down the Colorado River, most of them at the oars of her trusty14 foot raft.
Her active life led to more than a few injuries, including a broken back. Each time she bounced back and pressed on undaunted — hiking, climbing, river rafting, sea kayaking, and in 2009 became a certified diver. She credited the caring and the support of the Orcas Island community, her family, her spiritual pursuits, and her many friends for her courage to heal.
Dr. Mische is survived by her partner, Alexandra Gayek, ND (NCNM ’97,) her brothers, Philip and Eric Mische, and extended family. A celebration of her life took place at the Orcas Center on Orcas Island on June 24. Friends please contact Dr. Gayek at 360-376-5484, PO Box 522, Olga, WA 98279 to send photos, stories or condolences.