A life of doing, sadly derailed
Some people spend their lives going through the motions, sleepwalking from one indistinguishable day to the next. Michelle Rein, 44, wasn't one of them.
Some people spend their lives going through the motions, sleepwalking from one indistinguishable day to the next.
Michelle Rein, 44, wasn't one of them.
There appeared to be no end to the adventures that the Center City resident crammed into her life, no matter how far-fetched or dangerous they seemed.
She was an animal lover who rescued hedgehogs.
She fought for women's rights in Iran and spent a week in jail there for her efforts.
She lived abroad in Morocco as part of a Fulbright fellowship, and once studied in Saudi Arabia.
And, if that wasn't enough, Rein pursued a doctorate while battling a painful nerve disorder.
"She was just a fabulous, fantastic girl," said her father, Irwin Rein.
His daughter's full, fascinating life came to a tragic end on Friday, when she was struck and killed by a SEPTA train at the Bryn Mawr station.
Rein had chased after her dog, a Chihuahua-terrier mix, who had darted onto the tracks.
"The train came, but instead of dropping him, she threw him to safety," her father said. "She gave her life for her dog."
Rein noted that his daughter, who suffered from the nerve disorder Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, relied on the dog for assistance.
"He had been abused by a previous owner," he said. "He wasn't good with anybody but her."
Michelle Rein grew up in Wyckoff, N.J., and attended Ramapo High School, in nearby Franklin Lakes.
She majored in art history at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and then moved back east, settling in Philadelphia. "She loved the city," her father said, "and the Phillies."
Rein was active in animal-welfare groups, including the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, and recently worked as an adjunct professor at Villanova University, where she taught art history.
She was also working toward her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, her father said.
"She was sweet and friendly, the kind of person who would go past a wino and give him a dollar," Rein said. Michelle Rein is survived by her father, mother, and a brother and sister.