Margaret “Peggy” Fitzgerald, 84, of Halifax, passed in her home, after a long and heroic battle with cancer.
A loving wife of 60 years to Tom; devoted mother to Tom, Michael, Brian and Margaret (Dietz); Nana to Stephen, Taryn, Charlie, Olivia, William, Mimi and Grace; Mother-in-Law to Michele, Kristen and Brian; lifelong champion for the town of Halifax; and keeper of a warm, welcoming home for an endless stream of nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, friends, colleagues and occasional strangers.
Peggy’s was a life defined by service, courage and generosity, suffused with a joy in the simplest pleasures of life. A 75-year resident of Halifax, she served on a dizzying array of boards and committees, including as Chairman of the School Committee and Board of Selectmen, Town Accountant and member of the Finance Committee. During her 50 years of service to the town and region, she helped navigate the Silver Lake School System through a complex and emotional split from Pembroke and served on the Alewife commission to repair dams and return fish to the rivers of Plymouth County.
As a public servant and active citizen, Peggy never feared to speak her mind for what she knew was right, but also never was afraid to recognize a better idea or embrace a shared viewpoint to reach a common goal.
She was an avid gardener, and her work was admired daily by the thousands of passers-by on Route 106 in Halifax, as well as by the daily mass of elementary school children boarding buses across the street every morning. She loved the physical work of the garden, toiling alongside her husband, and she and Tom dined all year on the fruits of their labor.
Peggy lived a life of learning and exploration. She could impress with her knowledge of art, history and architecture and she never passed a museum or garden she could not linger in for hours.
She pursued further education, both due to her belief she should always be able to help her children with their own studies and to satisfy her own never-ending curiosity.
A staunch believer in the power of the democratic process, Peggy followed politics at the local and national level with equal passion, devouring television news and newspapers and embracing debates with like- or opposite-minded friends and family members.
Born in Roxbury in 1931, she moved to 13th Avenue in Halifax in 1940 and lived with her parents James and Margaret, and siblings James, Mary Ann, Robert, Ellen, Ann, Larry, Kathleen, and Judy.
Her family gained local fame after World War II when her father James was identified by Yankee Magazine as the ‘Kilroy’ of ‘Kilroy Was Here’ – the well-known saying carried by American troops throughout Europe. Peggy and Tom married in 1957, and purchased their house on Plymouth Street in 1958, which she called home for the rest of her life. She spent her last days in peace with Tom and and the constant buzz of visitors, watching the leaves turn along the Monponsett lakes from her cottage on Paradise Lane. She will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Halifax Food Bank, 503 Plymouth Street, Halifax, MA 02338. Visiting hours were in the Sullivan Funeral Homes, 2 Maquan St., at the Junction of Rtes. 14 & 58, Hanson, Thursday, Nov. 5, from 5 – 8 p.m. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 580 Monponsett St, Halifax, Friday, Nov. 6, at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Halifax Central Cemetery. For directions and to sign Peggy’s online guest book, go to SullivanFuneralHomes.com