Ethel Pace Habel


Mrs. Ethel Pace Habel, 88, wife of the late Kurt Carter Habel and a resident of Pungoteague, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, at her home. Born Dec. 14, 1930, in Hinton, W.V., she was the daughter of the late Rosco D. Pace and Ella Jefferson Pace.

Mrs. Habel graduated from Howard University and began her career as the head of nursing for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As fate would have it, she met Kurt at NIH where he served as the assistant director. She later transferred to the Rock Creek Foundation of Mental Health and worked as a nurse within the Montgomery County School System and health department. Following Kurt’s retirement, they relocated to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where Mrs. Habel worked for the Accomack County Health Department.

Survivors include her two children, Kyle C. Habel, of Silver Spring, Md., and Courtenay A. Habel, of Onancock; four grandchildren, Jerome Habel, Robert Palmer III and wife, Desiree, Melissa Palmer, and Jada Palmer; seven great-grandchildren, Maniyah Scott, Jayden Habel, Robert Palmer IV, Elijah Palmer, Jerimich Palmer, Nevaeh Palmer, and Skyler Howard; sister-in-law, Mary Rinehart and husband, John, and their children, Kevin Nelson and wife, Kim, and Diedre Rinehart; four great-nieces; and two great-nephews. In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by her nephew, Gary Rinehart.

To honor Mrs. Habel’s wishes, no public service will be held.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements were made by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

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