It was a dusty blue Pontiac Firebird that hauled Peggy out of Detroit. She hitched a trailer to the back to carry her belongings, and off she went, equipped with little more than a stack of rejection letters from potential employers from her destination. It was the fall of 1970, and she was 28. A single woman with a fighting free spirit, she knew she had to define her life on her own terms. She knew she had to go west.
When she arrived in Denver she took out the nicest of the rejection letters and walked into their office asking for a job. She got it. From there her adventures began. She fell in love with the outdoors, and later an outdoor man named Charlie. The two did their share of hiking and backpacking in the Colorado mountains, and were wed in a small ceremony in an aspen grove near Evergreen, Colorado in 1974.
Peggy earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver and began a lifelong career in mental health therapy, culminating in 15 years as a private practice practitioner. One of her greatest joys was helping individuals break free from the traumas that bound them.
She had a son, Nick, and a daughter, Katie, whom she watched grow into adulthood and start families of their own. Her family enjoyed many outdoor vacations together, often camping and backpacking.
Her retirement years were vibrant and joyful, filled with a delightful circle of friends always eager to hike, share good food, and imbibe. She and Charlie took many world travels; her final trip was to France, which she had wanted to visit her entire life.
Throughout her life she enjoyed gardening, always tinkering, rearranging, and improving her space. She likely gained this love from her father, who spent his weekends outdoors coaxing food and flowers from the earth. She grew up playing outdoors alongside – or running behind – her two sisters Carol and Nancy; she was the youngest of the three.
Peggy passed away the evening of April 18, 2017, with her husband by her side and her children in her home. One of the last songs they played for her was O Sole Mio (My Sun), her favorite.
Peggy, Mom, Grammy, Friend: you will always be our sun.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 30th at 2:00 pm at Moles Farewell Tributes in Bellingham, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, donations in Peggy’s memory can be made to either Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood or the Bellingham YWCA.