Veronica Caufield "Peggy" Shimer

MARIETTA, Ga. - Veronica "Peggy" Caulfield Shimer died on November 14, 2012, in Marietta, GA, just three days shy of her 94th birthday. She credited her longevity to the healthy doctrines espoused by Adele Davis and to the daily consumption of a glass of Livingston Burgundy. Peggy was born November 17, 1918, in Norwich, CT, to Irish immigrants Charles William and Helen Louise Caulfield. She grew up on Washington Street with her three sisters Mary Margaret, Helen Irene, and Lillian Theresa surrounded by a large community of friends and relatives. After graduating from Norwich Free Academy she served as hostess at the Wauregan Hotel and managed Helen's Beauty Shop. On September 26, 1945, she married George Hayman Shimer, a USCG officer, from Kinston, NC, and moved to Washington, D.C. Soon she encouraged George, his four brothers, and his mother to gather their large extended family for a reunion every Thanksgiving. At first the fete occurred in private homes, but eventually moved to the Kinston Country Club when the number of Shimer's surpassed twenty-five. From 1952 – 1970 Peggy lived on Raymond Avenue in Nutley, NJ, where she raised her three children. She volunteered as a Spring Garden School Class Mother, served as a Cub Scout den mother, and led troops of Brownies and Girl Scouts. One of her great pleasures was marching in the Memorial Day Parade. As her children grew more independent Peggy returned to the work she loved, sales. As someone naturally interested in the lives of others she was a born salesperson. In 1970 George, now employed by Bell Labs, was transferred to Greensboro, NC. There, living on Cascade Drive, Peggy continued to work in sales, but after a bout of pneumonia she left the workforce and found perhaps her most passionate activity, bridge. She belonged to many social and civic organizations, but it was playing in and, perhaps most importantly, winning bridge tournaments that satisfied her sharp and inquisitive mind. She also loved dancing with the Tanglefoots and participating in national square dancing conventions. In 2003 Peggy moved to the home of her youngest daughter in Marietta, GA. As she settled in, new activities provided enjoyment; perhaps the most satisfying was her daily conversations with Carm Mingo Signorino, a niece who grew up with the Caulfield's on Washington Street in Norwich. The two relived a wonderful childhood blessed with unconditional love, happy families, and lively characters. As two avid lifelong readers there was always a good book to discuss, too. Peggy also became enamored with the commonsense wisdom of Dr. Phil and the no-nonsense decrees of Judge Judy. She is survived by her three children and their spouses: Pamela and Tom O'Brien of Conway, MA; George "Skip" Shimer, and Sheryl Brown-Shimer of Wayland, MA; and Virginia and Thomas Rybski of Marietta, GA. She loved three grandchildren: T. Loehl O'Brien of Sacramento, CA and Olivia and Savannah Rybski of Marietta, GA. A large group of seventeen nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren filled her life with joy. She is predeceased by her parents, her husband George, her sisters Mary Margaret Mingo of Norwich, Helen Gillespie of New Haven, and Lillian Kingsley of Yantic, CT; her niece Donna Mae Kafka of Hamden, CT; and her grandnephew Charles William Signorino of Sharpsburg, MD. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery in March. Donations in her name may be made to the church she loved: Our Lady of Grace, 21 South Chapman Street, Greensboro, NC 27403. Sign the guestbook at

Published in Free Press from Nov. 25 to Nov. 28, 2012