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Peggy Rawls Wedgworth

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Peggy Rawls Wedgworth

Belle Glade, FL

Peggy Rawls Wedgworth, 86, of Belle Glade, slipped away peacefully Wednesday, July 2, 2014, following the "long goodbye" of Alzheimer's.

Peggy was born in Coral Gables, Florida, on August 5, 1927, to the late Sadie and William J. Rawls. While just a toddler, Peggy became the youngest member of the famous Water Babies, an extraordinary aquatic troupe consisting of the five Rawls siblings and featuring Peggy's oldest sister, Hall of Fame swimmer Katherine Rawls. Peggy was an outstanding athlete in her own right, well on her way to swimming stardom when she and her family moved to Belle Glade in 1943, where she caught the eye of a strapping young farmer, George Wedgworth. Following graduation from Belle Glade High School in 1946, both Peggy and George headed to Michigan State University, where Peggy had been awarded a full swimming scholarship ... in spite of the fact that Belle Glade had no swimming program in which to showcase her talents. While at Michigan State, Peggy set swimming records for the university that lasted for decades, and she was also a star on the Spartan Diving Team. Peggy chose to trade in her athletic career for motherhood and a lifetime partnership with George, as he set about to transform the face of Florida agriculture. Peggy Rawls and George Wedgworth were married on September 4, 1948.

Peggy was pre-deceased by her parents, sisters Katherine Rawls and Evelyn McKee, and brother William J. Rawls, Jr.

Peggy is survived by her husband of 65 years, George H. Wedgworth; sons Douglas K. Wedgworth (Teresa) of Jupiter, FL, and Dennis G. Wedgworth (Becky) of Wellington, FL, daughters Deborah W. Altman (Thomas) of Belle Glade, FL, and Diane W. Triplitt (Tom) of Travelers Rest, SC; a sister, Dorothy R. Williams of Lafayette, LA; eleven grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and 17 nieces and nephews.

Peggy's family adored her. She devoted her life to them, and she leaves a legacy of love and laughter that will be treasured forever.

A funeral service is being held at the Community United Methodist Church in Belle Glade, FL. She will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of donations to a charity of one's own choice.

Published in The Greenville News from July 5 to July 6, 2014
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