Peggy Joyce Day, 92, of Westminster, Maryland, died Saturday, July 4 at the Dove House after a brief illness.
Born April 19, 1928, in Sydney, Australia, she was the wife of the late Robert E. Day, who died April 27, 1976, to whom she was married 25 years. She was the daughter of the late Niels Peterson, who served over 50 years in the Merchant Marine, and Myrtle Kaylyn Peterson.
She was raised in Auckland, New Zealand, and spent her early years learning to swim in the Pacific Ocean, playing on the beach, climbing over the rocks and exploring caves, and always getting home before the tide came in. In 1944, at the age of 16, she emigrated to the United States with her mother, zigzagging across the Pacific Ocean on a cargo ship that had been converted into a transport ship for the sick and wounded during World War II. She and her mother arrived in San Francisco and then took a train cross country to Westminster, where they settled.
Peggy worked in several shops in downtown Westminster before marrying and settling down to raise her family. She loved cooking and interior decorating and all things Oriental, especially items from Japan, China, and East Asia. She delighted in spending time with her grandchildren and family, and was her daughter’s “right arm” in raising her grandson. Having been raised by the shore, she taught her children and grandchildren many simple games on the beach and in the yard. She enjoyed countless vacations to Ocean City, Maryland, and in later years to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as well as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Hilton Head.
But her real passion was swimming. Widowed at age 48, she rebuilt her life around swimming at various pools in Westminster, including pools at McDaniel College, the former East End Athletic Club, and the YMCA in Westminster. But her favorite pool was the 45-ft long in-ground pool in her daughter’s backyard, where she regularly swam 20 laps several days a week until she was 91. She made many new friends through her swimming and enjoyed many lunches and Girls Night Out dinners with those friends. In her later years, Peggy would joke that she could swim better than she could walk.
Peggy was a friend to everybody, and would go out of her way to do anything to help her friends.
She is survived by a daughter, Deborah Day Schaeffer, of Westminster; a son, Derek Day (Kathy), of Clinton, North Carolina; and grandchildren Samuel E. Schaeffer, of Westminster; Connor P. Day, of San Jose, California; and Sarah A. Day, of Greensboro, North Carolina, as well as many great nieces and nephews in New Zealand. She was predeceased by a son-in-law, Monte A. Schaeffer.
Burial in Westminster Cemetery will be private. There will be no visitation or funeral due to the COVID-19 virus.
Donations can be made to Carroll Hospice, 292 Stoner Avenue, Westminster, Maryland 21157. Arrangements have been entrusted to the MYERS-DURBORAW FUNERAL HOME in Westminster.
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