June 10, 1935 - July 15, 2014
Margaret H. Calvin (Peggy) was born June 10, 1935 to John and Mary Bradley in Oklahoma. She attended schools in Oklahoma, graduated from high school in Oregon, attended Gonzaga University in Washington as a music major, attended Imperial Valley College and received a Bachelor's degree in History from San Diego State University, Calexico. She was also a member of MENSA. Peggy's love for medicine started at the early age of 16 when she began her working career in a 1000 patient tuberculosis hospital in Oregon. By the 1960s she had evolved into the head administrator of the Southern Pacific Railroad Hospital in San Francisco where she met her later to be husband, Dr. Travis Calvin.
The 60's proved to be a significant influence on Peggy's political and personal growth and in 1969 after she and Dr. Calvin married in the Pine Valley home, they moved to Mexicali to help in the Calvin family business, Despepitadora Popular SA de CV- Commercial Cotton. One of Peggy's greatest lifelong pleasures was the opportunity to become bilingual, fluent in Spanish and bicultural. Later that year Dr. Calvin started his private practice as the only neurosurgeon in Imperial County and to this day is still the only permanently residing neurosurgeon in the valley. Peggy was the Office Manager for her husband's practice these last 44 years until her passing and she was immensely proud of him.. Peggy knew it was her destiny to have children. She and Dr. Calvin adopted three children: Elizabeth, Travis III and Kathleen. Her love for children did not stop with her own though- she considered all children her responsibility and wanted to provide a strong loving environment and bright future for all. She was very active in her children's education and strongly believed in and supported their activities in athletics and the arts. She taught several classes at Vincent Memorial High School, McCabe School and Sunflower Elementary. She absolutely believed in the power of education and continued to create opportunities to learn daily herself. She not only mentored her own children but many others.
In 1976 Peggy, Dr. Calvin, Dr Ortiz and several other concerned citizens started the Child Abuse Prevention Council after Dr. Calvin saved the life of a small child who was severely abused. After surgery the child was permanently blind and partially paralyzed. Dr. Calvin recognized the mother from a previous child of hers who had died from child abuse. The group decided at that time to not just "turn the page" but to make a difference. The Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Council became an official charitable organization in 1980. The goal of the Council was and is to raise community awareness, prevent child abuse and increase parent education. The motto is "It's not easy being a parent, but you are not alone." This initial group of people were instrumental in expanding the mandated reporting of suspected child abuse in Imperial County and Peggy was truly a pioneer in the field of child abuse prevention and public awareness. Over the years Peggy served on the Board in many capacities including President and Parent Educator. She was always available and ready to do hands on work for the Council and in 1979 Peggy and Sue Tally co chaired the very first Annual Children's Fair with a few hundred in attendance and a few dozen activities and information booths. Last April the Children's Fair celebrated its 35th year with over 100 booths and thousands in attendance and at one point in past years 30,000 in attendance! This event has become a tradition in Imperial County and is enjoyed by multiple generations all in an effort to help strengthen families. One of Peggy biggest passions was the continued work of the Council in improving the lives of children. Peggy also served on the Imperial County Juvenile Justice and Art's Council. And other passions included, but were not limited to: Humane Society, Man's Best Friends, St Jude Hospital, Easter Seals, Women and Children's homeless shelters, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, American Field Service and many many more. Over her lifetime Peggy received many awards, recognition and certificates of appreciation for this service- at the city, county and state level and most recently received the distinguished Monty Award from the SDSU Foundation for her humanitarianism. Over the last ten years Peggy also added another family passion- becoming an entrepreneur in real estate and restaurant ownership as a family investment in Pine Valley. Her loves and other passions were reading, music, family vacations, animals, children, and spirituality (Dalai Lama and Gurdjieff). She never stopped her curiosity for life long learning and growing. Very few people can impact a person's life - but Peggy always found a way. Whether it was advocating for children, animals, helping re entry women or encouraging someone on the street, she always wanted to be a positive influence. Peggy always felt her work here was not done. She would challenge all to make a difference in a person's life and "not just turn the page because you can't deal with the emotions. We often ask why doesn't someone do something - except WE are someone." She wholeheartedly felt "our greatest enemy was fear… fear of everything, but our greatest asset was love and compassion, there is hope."
She was preceded in death by her sister, Betty Hillman and brother-in- law, Joe Howell.
Peggy is survived by her husband- Travis H. Calvin, Jr. M.D.; sister, Ginger Howell; daughter, Elizabeth Calvin Smith (Stuart); son, Travis H. Calvin III; daughter, Kathleen Marguerite Calvin and two grandchildren, Stuart and Rowan Smith; her beloved animals, Joe and Siri and her bird, Mimi; niece, Mary L. Ault and several nephews, numerous great- nieces, great-nephews, godchildren and close family friends.
Celebration of life will be held Thursday, July 31 at 6 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Calexico.
In memory of Peggy Calvin donations can be made to the Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Council, 563 W. Main Street, El Centro, Ca. 92243 - one of her most passionate commitments.