AHERN--Margaret Rose "Peggy", 80. Prominent New York City educator Margaret Rose "Peggy" Ahern of Ridge, New York, died peacefully in her sleep July 23 of natural causes. Born in Jamaica, Queens, Peggy received her Masters in Education from St. John's University. She was a lifelong educator, who began her career as a teacher at the School for the Deaf in New York City. She taught for many years in the New York Public School system before becoming a principal in Rockaway, Queens. Peggy moved to Jamestown, Rhode Island in the late 1970s, where she continued her work as an educator teaching ESL at the Naval War College in Newport. For several years, Peggy spent the school year on Cuttyhunk Island teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, flying home to Jamestown for many weekends and the summers. Always at her side were her two beloved Irish Setters, Rhody and York. While in Jamestown Peggy pursued many passions including painting, golf and bridge. She was a member of the Jamestown Historical Society, a Docent at The Breakers in Newport and volunteered for 15 years with In-Sight, reading magazines, brochures and books onto audiotapes for the blind and visually impaired. The youngest of six, Peggy is survived by her sisters Eileen A. Sullivan of Albany, New York, and Mary Phelan of Melville, New York; her brother-in-law Frank Phelan; and the many, many children who loved her, including her 16 nieces and nephews. Peggy was predeceased by her brother Cornelius Ahern and sisters Veronica DeGloria and Ann Farrell. Peggy was passionate about the arts, attending theater both on and off Broadway. While her family most fondly recalls frequent trips with her to the Bronx Zoo, she most loved introducing them to culture, which included field trips to her most beloved museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Natural History and The Whitney. She was an avid golfer, bridge player and traveler, as equally comfortable on the Green Course at Bethpage State Park as she was in the streets of Haifa. A avid environmentalist who began recycling gift cards, wrapping paper and plastic bags in the 1960s, Peggy loved the ocean. She was never without her 'summer bag', which was always chock full with just-in-case extras and was never without a dog-eared deck of Royal Playing Cards. Visiting hours be held at Vernon Wagner Funeral Home, 655 Old Country Road, Plainview, NY, Wednesday July 27 from 4:00-8:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, July 28 10:00am at St Pius X Church, 1 Saint Pius Court, Plainview, NY. Internment will be at St. John's Cemetery, Queens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: INSIGHT, 43 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, RI 02888.
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Published in The New York Times on July 26, 2011