PEGGY DEHNE REMEMBERED
(A woman who was a little ahead of her time)
PEGGY & HER QUIET WARRIOR [Doctor Ed Dehne, Col, US Army (weblink)]
Click on the picture to hear Sam singing
a few songs to Peggy.
Peggy and Daughter Lani
Peggy and Sam
Peggy and Don
Sam, Don, & Lani with Mom and Dad
Peggy by herself - circa 1970
Peggy and Santa, Christmas of 2004
Marguerite Peggy Dehne was peacefully welcomed into Heaven on
21 October, 2006.
This was after a long bout with a wonderful life.
ABOUT OUR BELOVED PEGGY:
Born on July 16th, 1910, in North Dakota, Marguerite
Peggy McKinnen was destined to be one fine lady. She spent much
of her childhood on a farm and away at a boarding school. It was at the
boarding school that she discovered her great thirst for knowledge and
love for music. At a very young age it was discovered that she could
play the piano almost without instruction and she could read music and
play by ear. In fact, she had an inborn talent to play a variety of
instruments, the accordion, organ, and guitar to name just a few.
While in High School, she had her own band and played at graduations,
weddings, and events. She always had an adventurous nature and
enjoyed life to its fullest.
In those days, your education meant everything. When you
finished the 12th grade, it was the equivalent of a college education. Her
studies had prepared her for a Business career. She had a wonderful job with
Occidental Life , and was making enough money to be able to afford a Car
(her own yellow convertible at that), an apartment for herself, and a rather
extensive social life. In those days there were very few women who even knew
how to drive a car, much less who actually owned one.
She married Edward J. Dehne in 1938, after a long and interesting
courtship. They had met in North Dakota and parted when Ed went on to
Oregon to finish his education at the Oregon University School of
Medicine. They re-established their relationship when he found her again
in Los Angeles, where she had transferred to the Occidental Life's
headquarters. They were married and lived in Coos Bay, Oregon, where
Ed had set up a medical practice
When Ed joined the Army, they moved to San Francisco and thus
began Peggys sojourn around the world. When Ed was sent to Europe, Peggy
returned to North Dakota for the duration of the War. Right after the end of the
War, they lived in Berlin, Germany after which they went to Chicago. From
there they went to Baltimore then on to Atlanta then to Panama and back to
Maryland. Then to San Antonio, Texas from there to Okinawa and back to
Chicago and finally to Carson City.
Back to the beginning though, Peggy was never the typical
housewife. She was first last and always her own person. Ed was sent
to Europe during the War. Peggy remained in Bismarck to raise their
three children. She took care of Ed's aging parents, watched her sisters-in-law's
children while they worked, and did volunteer work as a nurse in a local hospital.
It was during this period that she came down with pneumonia and almost died.
Ed was able to get some black-market penicillin to her doctors and literally saved her life.
(Great Grandson Camden watches Sam)
Pictures from Peggy's Memorial Service, 6 Dec, 2006
Over the years, she became extremely interested in working with
the Red Cross, but, she wanted to "learn" something not just "do" something.
So, while living in Maryland in 1957, she began attending the Red Cross
training in Braille. This involved learning the whole language, special
6 key typewriter, proofreading, editing, and processing of documents.
This takes some thought for us. Imagine changing every word in the world
down into 6 dots and any configuration of those 6 dots to represent
those words, and learning that concept in 9 months, as well as the
typewriter that produces those dots, and the editing and proofreading of
that material. This was an astronomical task.
After a grueling nine-month training course that involved two days a week
for five hours each, she received the accreditation as a Certified Braillest
from the Library of Congress by completing a 50 page trial manuscript.
At this point, she started transcribing textbooks for the visually
challenged school children. Her dedication to this enterprise was
phenomenal! She worked on her transcription almost daily, sometimes
putting in up to twelve hours to meet deadlines and the needs of her
high school and college students. She continued this endeavor for over
30 years, until her own eyesight began to suffer. What an inspiration!
Peggy was an innately spiritual person, and took her religious
responsibilities very seriously. Wherever she went, she participated and
provided a helping hand. Often she served as the Chapel Organist as well
as providing her expertise in bookkeeping.
With every military assignment given to Ed, you could count on her
getting elected as President of the Officer's Wives groups. Her sense of
organization and experience in rule of order provided her with the
traits necessary to perform these duties in an exemplary manner. The
list goes on and on as to the number of offices she served in. In 1965,
retirement was looming over their heads. Peggy was looking forward to a
well-earned rest from the responsibilities that go along with these
offices. Their clothes had hardly been unpacked before she became
immersed in the activities of the local auxiliaries and Medical wives
functions. She was elected as President of the Carson/Tahoe Hospital
Auxiliary while simultaneously she served as President of the St. Anne's
Guild. She continued to serve on the Telephone Committee for the St.
Anne's Guild until she passed away.
While her world had gotten smaller, as her ability to get around
diminished, her love for life and fun never ceased. Her sense of theater
and performance continued with Sunday morning soirees at her favorite
Coffeehouse on Main Street in Carson City. She would regal the group
with her latest jokes and stories... and listen to them talking "in front
of her back" (she had become somewhat hard of hearing).
If they had only had a Piano Bar! After brunch, she could be found
with her son, Sam, entertaining the residents of the local Senior Housing
Centers. Sam played his guitar and sang while Peggy sang along and
played the Tambourine.
Peggy was predeceased by her beloved husband, Doctor Edward J. Dehne,
ARMY, Col, (ret), who passed away in June of 2000, her oldest son, Donald L. Dehne,
USAF, Maj, (ret), who passed away in November of 1999, and her darling sister Ruth
Gogian, who passed away several years ago in Palos Verdes, California. She is
survived by her son, Sam Denis Dehne, and her daughter, Ilani Ann Donley. She
has 8 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
God Bless You, Peggy! You will be missed.
In lieu of flowers please send remembrances to St Teresa's Church, Carson City (3000 Lompa Ln, 89706)
Carson City Newspaper - 29 October, 2006