Margery “Peggy” Widtfeldt was born May 10, 1921 to Russell “Russ” and Katherine “Tatta” Smith in Omaha NE. At age 100 Peggy died peacefully June 10, 2021 at the St. Croix River home of her daughter and son- in -law. Her son, Skip, described her life as “an incredible 100 trips around the Sun”.
She was married during World War II to Gene Widtfeldt, the love of her life, for 66 years until his death in 2007. They met when Gene was a member of Russ’s Boy Scout Troop, The Pine Tree Patrol. Peggy knew Gene was “the one” when she was 14 and he was 15.
She was a working mother who together with Gene, raised and launched three children, Skip (Barb) Widtfeldt, Jim (Anne) Widtfeldt, and Mary Jean (Jim) Marnie.
Peggy worked as a secretary at Plymouth Congregational Church for over 30 years, first for Dr. Howard Conn and then for The Reverend Vivian Jones, two senior ministers. For many years she sang in the Plymouth Church Choir directed by Philip Brunell. Peggy was proud to be one of the first “Needlers”, a group of 145 women associated with Plymouth who, over 40 years, created four seasonal crewel embroideries, each 25’ by 16’, that hang in the Church’s Guild Hall. She was in an exclusive group of four women who stitched on all four of the nationally acclaimed embroideries.
After retiring from Plymouth Peggy worked at Pacer Center, a Minneapolis non-profit organization that advocates for children and young adults with disabilities. She was valued as a warm, efficient receptionist as well as for her beautiful hand written invitations to sponsors and celebrities for Pacer’s annual benefits. After 26 years at Pacer Peggy was still working part-time at age 99 when her office had to close due to the coronavirus.
She loved playing cribbage, gourmet cooking, flower arranging, reading “cozy” mysteries and was an accomplished ballroom dancer. She and Gene were members of Aqua Gliders and Linden Hills Dance Club.
Most of all Peggy liked spending time with her family. Utilizing the knowledge and skills of Russ
and Gene, who were both professional Boy Scout Executives, the family enjoyed many years of camping in northern Minnesota’s National Forest campgrounds and at the Lake Pokegama home of Peggy’s brother and sister-in-law. The camping trips offered lots of bonding time for the great-grandparents with the
grandchildren and everyone in between. And of course, there was plenty of delicious food when Peggy was involved. There are good memories of eating Peggy’s hand-churned ice cream that was made by everyone taking a turn to crank the old-fashioned ice cream maker. It was a real treat to eat ice cream on a hot summer day in the woods.
Besides her children Peggy is survived by her brother Bob Smith (Marney), sister-in -law Carol Smith (deceased, Perry Smith), sister-in-law Marj Smith (deceased, Rusty Smith), grandchildren Krista Wieneke (Mike), Adam Marnie (fiancé Rebecca Matalon), Kate Jablonski (Kevin), Luke Widtfeldt and great-grandchildren William and Henry Wieneke, Jack and Colin Jablonski. Also surviving are nieces and nephews Janet Cederholm, Kat Smith, Jean Barlage, Duff Smith, Matt Smith, Steve Smith, Maren Hagen, Nancy Sura, Jenny Loomis and their families.
Peggy’s centennial birthday was May 10, 2021. She celebrated it with two parties and was so happy to be surrounded by her extended family.
Peggy and Gene will be interred together at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held at Plymouth Congregational Church in September. Because of the coronavirus restrictions guests will be included by invitation only.
If you wish to give a gift in memory of Peggy, donations will be welcomed for Pacer Center.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margery Jean (Peggy) Widtfeldt, please visit our floral store.