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Margaret Elizabeth Griffin COGSWELL

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COGSWELL, Margaret Elizabeth GriffinEntered the Church Triumphant on Sunday, October 28, 2012 after celebrating her 90th birthday with family on October 11th. Her life was defined by devotion to family, friends, community, church, and her 67 years with her husband, the Rev. Dr. James Cogswell. Born in Richmond, VA on October 11, 1922, Peggy (as she was known to many) met Jim in 1940 on the steps of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN, where they both lived. She studied at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, VA and after Jim's graduation from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, they were married on June 11, 1945. While waiting for permission to serve as missionaries in postwar Japan under the Board of World Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., they served in Pascagoula, Mississippi, then pursued study at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, where Peggy served as secretary to the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University. The Cogswells sailed for Japan in December 1948 with their one-year-old daughter, Margaret Ann. During their 13 years of service as evangelistic and educational missionaries, they participated in the founding of Shikoku Christian College (now Shikoku Gakuin University), taught at Kinjo Gakuin University in Nagoya, and worked in establishing and strengthening churches on the island of Shikoku and in the metropolitan area of Nagoya. In 1960 (now with four children), they returned on furlough to the United States where, in 1961, Jim was called to serve as Asia Secretary for the Board of World Missions in Nashville, TN. Along with caring for their four children, Peggy worked as secretary to the Dean of Admissions at Peabody College, then at Vanderbilt University School of Law. In 1967, Jim became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, TN, where Peggy served not only as a pastor's wife, but also as school secretary at Franklin Elementary School. In 1971, Jim became Director of the World Hunger/World Service Program of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., moving the family to Atlanta. During this period, Peggy served as staff for the Board of Women's Work, PCUS; secretary to the Dean of Columbia Theological Seminary; secretary at Emory University School of Nursing; and secretary for Greater Atlanta Presbytery. She also served as an elder at North Decatur Presbyterian Church. In 1984, the Cogswells moved to the New York area when Jim became Director of the Division of Overseas Ministries of the National Council of Churches, and Peggy worked at the Graduate Theological School of Drew University in Madison, NJ where they lived. Following retirement in 1988, the Cogswells returned first to Atlanta (where Peggy served as secretary to Decatur Cooperative Ministry), then in 1995 to Black Mountain, NC. In 1999, following Peggy's heart attack, they became residents at the Highland Farms Retirement Community. Throughout her life, Peggy was a devoted wife, a loving mother, a loyal friend, and a dedicated Christian who poured out her life for others. The memory of her grace, her kindness, and her unconditional love will resonate through the lives of her family, and into a world always needful of those as compassionate as Peggy Cogswell. Peggy is survived by her husband, Dr. James A. Cogswell and their children, Margaret Ann Cogswell and her husband, Terry Kolb of New York City; James Jr. and his wife Sarah Stitt of Ann Arbor, MI; Sara Cogswell and her husband Will South of Columbia, SC; and Daniel and his wife, Margaret Couch Cogswell of Asheville, NC. She is the grandmother of six: Eli Wells of Mobile, AL, Anna Hodges of Greensboro, NC, Will and Camille Cogswell of Asheville, David and Katherine Cogswell of Ann Arbor. She is also the great-grandmother to two-year old, Reid Hodges. Her brothers, Roland and Thomas, pre-deceased her. Memorial contributions may be made to the Presbyterian World Mission Program, 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202; or the Presbyterian Heritage Center, P.O. Box 207, Montreat, NC 28757. A Memorial service will be held at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church on Sunday, November 4th, 1:30 p.m.
Published in The Tennessean on Nov. 2, 2012
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