Pinkham, Margaret "Peggy" Agnes Feb. 2, 1928 – Aug. 26, 2019 (Age 91)
With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Margaret, known as “Peggy”, our loving and devoted mother and friend to all whose lives she touched, on Aug. 26, 2019. Peggy was born at home in Warwick, RI; she was the oldest daughter of Harry and Margaret Morris. Peggy’s younger sister, Ethel, “Honey”, was born the following year and currently lives in Jupiter, FL.
Peggy was born just before the Great Depression, a time when food and jobs were hard to get; her family lived in households with extended family in order to survive. Family life entailed spending time together, playing games, and listening to radio. The virtues Peggy learned as a child (focusing on relationships and stretching every available dollar) stayed with her all her life.
Peggy loved all types of games. In fact, games may have saved her life at an early age. When Peggy was 10, her family lived in a trailer on the beach in Winsegansett Heights, MA during the summer of 1938. Her parents were invited into Providence for a game of bridge. While there, the weather deteriorated and they decided to stay the night at their grandparents’ house. When the storm subsided, they returned to the beach to find everything gone. Their home and all of their belongings as well as friends and neighbors were completely swept away due to a storm surge that devastated the beach. This was the Great 1938 Hurricane that devastated New England and killed as many as 800 people.
Peggy was 13 in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the U.S. formerly entered WWII. She went to work in a grocery store and did a lot of heavy lifting as all the men were in the military. Her paycheck went to take care of the family, including her father’s sisters, Agnes and Ethel, who lived with them while their husbands were away at war.
George, Peggy’s future husband, enlisted in the Navy in 1945 and was awarded a WWII Victory Medal and an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and, after being honorably discharged in 1946, he worked as a cook in a street car restaurant in Providence. Peggy went to work in this restaurant as a waitress and bookkeeper and met the love of her life, George Franklin Pinkham. George was drafted in 1951 (Korean War) and, after a whirlwind romance, the two were married on Nov. 5 and George reported shortly thereafter to the U.S.S. Tweedy.
During the many years of George’s Naval Career, Peggy had 5 children: George, Holly, Harry, David, Bryan. George would ship out for months and Peggy not only took care of the family, but she worked as a waitress when she could. The Pinkham family moved many times around the country as they followed George’s Navy Career until he was “Honorably Discharged” as a Disabled Veteran in 1964. The Pinkham family relocated to Florida to be near Peggy’s parents who lived in the Bradenton Trailer Park and George spent their first year in Florida at Bay Pines VA Hospital in St. Petersburg. Peggy’s sister, Honey, lived in Miami with her husband, Norman, and two children, Karen and Neil, and the cousins soon became more like siblings.
The years that followed were difficult years for the family as George was very ill, but Peggy held the family together. Peggy worked as a waitress and, at the same time, put herself through college after being out of high school for more than 20 years. She graduated in 1970 with a degree in Elementary Ed. and began teaching at Robert H. Prine Elementary School. Her husband, George, died in 1974 (age 46) and her mother died two weeks later. Peggy’s father came to live with her and she took care of him until he died in 1988.
A few months after Peggy’s father had passed, she was helping her daughter in Orlando when there were heavy rains and her home of 23+ years along Wares Creek flooded. For the second time in her life, she lost most of her worldly possessions and, again, many of the family pictures were lost. She moved into her friend’s house and he (Jay) was instrumental in fixing her place up so it could be sold. In 1989, she sold her house on 20th Street and moved into the condo in Wildewood Springs.
Peggy was active in the community. She helped run the bingo at the South County Youth Center for many years with dear friend, Jay, with whom she also bowled on a league (she was a great bowler!). She helped set up other bingos so that they would be profitable and she even worked as an auctioneer. She loved to sing and spent a few years as a member of the Sweet Adelines. She volunteered for her favorite charity, the Salvation Army, during the holidays counting the change from the kettles and helping organize the gift giving for the Angel Tree donations. She especially loved playing Contract Bridge and she helped run the bridge games at H2U.
Peggy loved her yearly trips to Rhode Island with sister Honey to visit family and friends. She loved her gambling trips with dear friend Jackie. She loved going to the track with sons Harry or Bryan to play poker (she was a great poker player!). She loved her trips with son Bryan when he made deliveries to customers. Peggy was always ready to go and she loved being on the go!
Peggy was a member of what has been referred to as the “Greatest Generation,” and it is easy to see why people like her are called the greatest generation. With all the adversity and setbacks in her life, she never complained; she never felt sorry for herself; she was never envious of what others had; she never expected someone else to provide for her or her family. She did what was required to take care of her family and herself and she did it with dignity and honesty and still found time and energy to help others.
Peggy was the rock and glue of her family and was blessed with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren. She served as a role model for everyone and enriched each person’s life that she touched. She gave little value to material possessions and she was generous with what little she had. She placed all of her value on family and friends whom she loved more than herself. Her family loved and respected her and will miss her every day. She will always be loved and remembered by all who knew her.
A family tribute to Mom’s life was celebrated Saturday, Sept. 7th.
To send flowers to Margaret "Peggy" A. (Morris) Pinkham's family, please visit our floral section.