Peggy Lee Pettitt Kiefer|
Jan. 21, 1936-Feb. 10, 2014
Resident of Aptos
With her family to shepherd her, Peggy Lee Pettitt Kiefer died during the early morning hours of 10 February 2014 in Watsonville. She was 78. Her parents, Loftin and Evelyn Pettitt, welcomed Peggy into their family on 21 January 1936, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She graduated from Rocky Mount High School, and from there went on to Duke University and the Pan American School in Richmond, VA.
As a young woman, she worked as an aide to Congressman Harold Cooley, and was later secretary to the commanding officer of Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia. She also served as secretary to the staff judge advocate at Fort Story, Virginia. It was through her work with the military that she met Lt. John Kiefer. After an eight-month courtship, she and John were married 27 September 1958, and celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last year.
Soon after their marriage, Peggy and John moved to Fargo, North Dakota. In 1967, they left the Midwest and moved to Santa Cruz County, where they and their three children put down deep roots. Peggy merged her great love of travel with business, becoming a partner in Admiralty Travel in Aptos. She also was an active volunteer in her community, focusing generous energy on her local P.E.O. Chapter ED, Friends of Hospice, and the Junior League. She also was a faithful parishioner of Calvary Episcopal Church.
Although she had been employed in several positions of responsibility and trust, Peggy had never completed her college degree. In 1975, once her children had started school, a determined Peggy enrolled at UCSC, intent on finishing what she had started many years before. She fulfilled a commitment to herself, and to her father, when she graduated two years later—with honors.
Always a sports enthusiast, Peggy skied, played tennis and golf, and was an equestrian. She also competed at the bridge table, earning her Silver Life Master award. Peggy exercised her creative talent as a decoupage artist, a pianist, and as a generous hostess to the many friends she and John enjoyed, both in Aptos and at their home at Lake Tahoe. Her grandchildren filled her heart, and she had great affection for animals.
Though her health had been compromised for several years, Peggy loved to be out in this community she cared so much about. John devotedly ensured that she still made the rounds of her favorite events and places, ever a gracious lady with her soft Southern vowels still highlighting her North Carolina origins.
Peggy leaves her family, to whom she was devoted: husband John of Aptos Ridge; son John II (Corinne) of Eugene, Oregon; daughter Elizabeth Kiefer Greer (Mike) of Aptos; grandchildren JP, Jacob, Justin and Jack of Eugene and Caroline Jane, Mason and Sarah of Aptos; sister Evelyn Dignam of Newport Beach; and many nieces and nephews. Beloved daughter Caroline Lee (Kitten) Kiefer and sister Elise Bender preceded Peggy in death.
The family is so grateful for the compassionate care Peggy received from all her caregivers, especially Hilda, Sandra, Yvonne and Emily, and the staff of Hospice of Santa Cruz County.
There will be a memorial service at Calvary Episcopal Church, 532 Center Street, Santa Cruz, on Saturday, 15 February, at 11 AM. The family invites all whose lives Peggy touched to join them for this farewell.
In lieu of flowers, any kind remembrances may be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County or to the Building and Restoration Fund at Calvary Episcopal Church.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Feb. 12, 2014