July 12, 1922 - May 1, 2013
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Margaret (Peggy) Bloomfield, philanthropist, community activist and widow of William E. Bloomfield, Sr., passed away on May 1st, at her home in Pacific Palisades.
Peggy was born and raised on a citrus ranch in Escondido, California, where she lived through high school with her parents, Florence and Clarence Meyer and her brother Stanley. She left Escondido to attend college at Occidental and UCLA. She also enrolled in a Secretarial school, which provided her several business classes that proved to be invaluable in her future pursuits.
Shortly after the end of World War II, she met Bill Bloomfield, who at the time worked with the phone company in Beverly Hills. Bill asked her out on New Year's Eve and she was hesitant to accept as he was a little bit older and had been divorced. Peggy said she would only go if it was a double date, then at the last minute, the other couple cancelled. Hesitant, she still went on the date, had a great time and Bill proposed two dates later! They were married in April 1946.
When the phone company went out on strike, Bill learned of a new company that was selling washing machines for self-service laundries and apartments. Bill and Peggy obtained the exclusive sales rights for Westinghouse washing machines for apartments. Together they borrowed money from friends and family and purchased their first 50 machines and began what was to become one of the most successful apartment laundry service companies in the United States, called Web Service Company. The company operated in over 30 states and employed over 1,200 people. After 61 years of operation, Web Service was sold in 2008.
Giving back to the community was extremely important to Peggy and Bill. Together they had been active in non-smoker's rights and the billboard they installed on Santa Monica Boulevard, counting the number of smoking deaths annually, is still operating after 25 years.
Bill had been a heavy smoker so sympathized with the challenges of smoking addiction. In addition to anti-smoking, they also became strong supporters of gun control and supporters of the Brady Bill.
Another personal passion for Peggy was stem cell research. She recently funded a UCLA symposium that brought together top scientists from all over the world so that they had a forum to share their cutting edge research.
In addition, Peggy was Chair of the UCLA Chancellors Cabinet of the Chancellors Associates, board member of UCLA's Women and Philanthropy, honoree of the Concern Foundation, member of the Westwood Village Rotary Club and the Brentwood Bel-Air Women's Club. She was an active supporter of the Jonsson Cancer Center, KCET, the Music Center and Los Angeles Children's Hospital. She was a member of the Mayflower Society and the Daughter of the American Revolution.
In 2006, Peggy established the Bloomfield Family Foundation with emphasis on Education, Health and the Arts. Major recipients have been UCLA (both the University and Hospital), Children's Hospital LA, The Music Center, Westwood United Methodist Church and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. The Alliance Margaret M. Bloomfield Technology High School is due to open in 2014.
After community service, nothing was more important to Peggy than family. Known by her family as "G. G.", she wanted to attend every activity of each great grandchild and relished in each new development as they grew. No event was considered trivial to her and there was no end to the depth of her love. She enjoyed sharing with others how much she valued the monthly family birthday dinner celebrations. And she would never miss the family's many trips to the desert and annual Thanksgiving gatherings in Hawaii with lots of splashing, dining and very competitive games of charades.
Peggy is survived by her son, William Bloomfield, Jr. (Susan), her daughter, Joanne Bloomfield Hunter (Jim), both from Manhattan Beach, and her step-daughter, Carole Etzel (Tim) of Topeka, Kansas. She is also survived by eight grandchildren: Joelle Etzel Scott (Parker), Kory Hunter (Rory), Kristin Etzel Rosendale, William Bloomfield III (Maria), Mandy Hunter Gregory (Heath), Noel Etzel (Mary), Wyatt Bloomfield (Jo), and Mara Bloomfield, and seventeen great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages that donations by made to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation at 8-950 Factor Building, Box 951780, Los Angeles, 90095 or www.cancer.ucla.edu. Memorial services will be held on Sunday, May 5th at 3:00 p.m., at Westwood United Methodist Church, 10497 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 2, 2013