Margaret “Peggy” Kingsbury, 89, passed away peacefully at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington on November 29, 2019. Peggy lived the last 19 years of her life on the family tree farm in Olalla, Washington and had spent many years prior to that living in Port Orchard, Washington. Peggy was born at Everett Memorial Hospital in Everett, Washington on June 29, 1930 to Lulu and Frances Campbell. She was deeply loved and will be missed by family and friends.
The family home in Everett where she was raised was built by her father in an area of early planned development. They had a city lot in an area that had been laid out with square city blocks with lots along each street. The house was simple with no wiring or plumbing in the beginning. Her father was an electrician and soon wired the house. They used the “back house” for some time prior to indoor plumbing. Her mother cooked on a wood cook stove in the kitchen.
Her Mother nick named her “Peggy” as a small child and that name stuck for her life time. When Peggy was on her first day of school the teacher called roll call. After several attempts of calling “Margaret” with no response the teacher became frustrated. Mom didn’t understand because her name “Peggy” had not been called. She confided her confusion and frustration to her mother when she got home from school. Her mom and dad were friends with the school principle and his wife. Her mom made a call to the principles wife and the problem was solved; she was called Peggy at school from then on!
Peggy grew up in Everett attending local schools and graduated from Everett high school in 1948. She attended and became a member of Everett United Methodist Church and sang in the youth choir and later the adult choir there.
Upon her high school graduation Peggy wanted to be a nurse. She could live at home and attend nursing school at Everett Memorial Hospital. But there was a problem. She had a bit of an independent and stubborn streak and wanted to go away to college. So, she ended up in Tacoma at The University of Puget Sound (UPS). UPS had no nursing program so Peggy chose an English major and music minor. She played base cello in the UPS band (go loggers). She was a life time piano player and owned a second generation piano from her mother that remains in the family today. Some of her children, grandchildren, and now a great grandchild have learned to play piano on that beloved old piano.
After college graduation in 1952 Peggy used her English major degree to become a teacher. She got a job with the Central Kitsap school district teaching high school English which she did for several years.
A fellow teacher and friend set her up on a blind date in 1953 with a handsome young local forester. That blind date turned into a lifelong relationship. She and the forester John Kingsbury were married June 12, 1954. They were married for 65 years until John’s death this past June 16, 2019.
When she became pregnant with her first child and could no longer teach Peggy decided to stay at home and raise her family. Eventually there were four of us siblings. Mom made our lives work simply but effectively on Dad’s single salary. We all realized growing up that we didn’t have a lot but, we never lacked anything. Mom made the very best of avoiding unnecessary things while providing the necessary. We were always well fed, well rested and well groomed. We grew up feeling safe, secure and well cared for. Mom set great examples of promptness, reliability and responsibility. Mom did the little things that counted for us like driving us on our paper routes in the pouring rain so the papers wouldn’t get wet and going to the hardware store when Doug and I ran out of nails because we had pounded every nail we could find in the garage into our fort in the woods. Mom was firm and no non sense but also loving and fair with discipline. It is true that she could silence us when we got a little too rambunctious in the house just by opening and closing a kitchen drawer. She had one drawer where the wooden spoons were kept. She had applied the use of the wooden spoons a few but effective times and had us trained. If we got a bit out of hand all she had to do was step to that drawer and open it, pause, and close it firmly and we would quickly pipe down and scatter.
When our family settled in Port Orchard Mom transferred her church membership from Everett United Methodist Church to Port Orchard United Methodist Church. She attended regularly as long as she was able. She served as church pianist for several years and was member of the church hand bell choir. On Mom’s second to last day as she lay in her hospital bed, our sister in law Linda was playing soothing music for Mom from her tablet. The group Pentatonix was performing their song Hallelujah and Mom began moving her hands as if she were playing the hand bells to the tune.
A fond memory we all have is Sunday dinners at Mom’s. When we were little and growing up Mom’s Mom would frequently host family Sunday dinners in Everett. Our Mom decided to carry on that tradition when we all started having families. So for many years she hosted frequent family Sunday dinner gatherings at the family home in Port Orchard. She would always warn a new daughter in law “with my three boys eating, you should be quick to the table or there won’t be anything left for you to eat!”
Peggy did go back to work later. With her teaching credentials outdated she would need a new degree to teach again. So she went to work for the schools starting as a playground attendant and eventually retiring as assistant elementary school secretary. Along the way she also served as Dad’s secretary. He would hand write any letter or correspondence long hand then Mom would review it correcting grammar, punctuation and spelling and then type it formally in the correct format.
Peggy not only majored in English and taught English; from proper speaking to proper writing to quips, puns, and word play, she loved the English language. When one of us kept asking something over and over a favorite response from her was “If Pete and Repeat were on a bridge and Pete fell into the water below who would be left on the bridge?” our answer, of course, was “Repeat!” So, she would repeat the whole thing again. From school assignments to resumes to letters and presentations, she was the go to for review and correction of our written works. The last writing of mine that Mom critiqued was Dad’s eulogy. Please forgive me if there are errors in this document; Mom was not available to review it for me.
Peggy is preceded in death by her husband John Kingsbury, her Mother Lulu Campbell, her father Frances Campbell, her brother Bill Campbell, her sister in law Allie Campbell, her nephew Frank Campbell, her brother in law Royce Nesbit and daughter in law Diane Kingsbury.
Peggy is survived by sons, David (Annette) Kingsbury of Port Orchard, Douglas (Linda) Kingsbury of Olalla, Daniel (Jodilyn) Kingsbury of Olalla; daughter, Debbie (Randy) Slater of Olalla; sister in law Barbara Nesbit of Portland, Oregon; 17 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and a niece and two nephews.
A memorial service will be held Saturday December 28 at 1:00 PM at Port Orchard United Methodist church 725 Kitsap St. Port Orchard, Washington. The family will host a reception to follow.
Rest in Peace Mom. We gain comfort in the knowledge that you went under your terms wrapped in God’s arms to be with Dad and all your other loved ones who passed before you.
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