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Margaret "Peggy" BENT

1928 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Margaret "Peggy" BENT Obituary
June 30, 1928 - May 26, 2015 I know everyone thinks their mom is special. But our Mom was truly one-of-a-kind. Peggy was born in Pasadena to Thomas Michael Callahan and the former Mary Margaret Mulvahill. Margaret Jean was an intelligent and self-assured child. When her mother was expecting her second child, Peggy announced, without benefit of ultrasound, that she would have a little brother named Mickey. While her parents named their son Thomas Gerald, the name never took and he's Uncle Mick to this day. Peggy met Don Bent in high school, and they started dating when she asked him to a Sadie Hawkins dance, but that wasn't the first time they were together. In 1928, in June, Dad was born on the 15th in what is now Huntington Hospital. Fifteen days later, he was still there when Mom was born in the same hospital She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Bacteriology. Shortly thereafter, she and Don married, an Irish Catholic from UCLA and an Irish Protestant from USC. Their wedding was the beginning of a 47 year adventure that Peggy described as "holding on to the tail of a kite." Peggy taught at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary elementary school, while Don continued to work on his crazy Rose Parade Float company. She was a favorite teacher of her students during her 14 years at Assumption and was remembered decades later as one of the best. Meanwhile, to everyone's surprise, Bent Parade Floats became a success. She worked side by side with Dad building what became the largest parade float company in the world. The business still thrives today as Phoenix Decorating Company. Boating became Don and Peggy's next adventure and along the way they took up predicted log racing aboard their 55 ft. power boat, The Black Jack. While they were not known for their racing prowess, they became known for their famous Black Jack parties after every contest. After Don passed in 1997, Peggy continued boat racing, and became one of the best predicted log racers in the country. With her son-in-law Captain Craig at the helm, (newly acquired for just that purpose), she was recognized as the top predicted log racer in Southern California three times. She won the West Coast regional trophy competing against seasoned champions from Vancouver to San Diego, and was recognized as one of the top ten in North America numerous times, winning countless trophies along the way. Her favorite races were to and around Catalina Island and the Peggy Bent Catalina Cup Award is a testament to her love of the island. Along the way, each of her sons provided her with a granddaughter, Katie and Jessica. While we knew that mom loved us kids, their arrival eclipsed any notion of who she liked best. Clearly the granddaughters had that title sewn up the second they arrived. Her final years were quieter, enjoying family and local outings with her "angels." Heidi and Yolanda. And through it all, she was cheerful, elegant and kind, always a lady. Peggy was preceded in death by the love of her life, Don, her glamorous cousin Patty Callahan Hovard and her beloved Jaguar XJ8 (tragically rear-ended in 2014). She is survived by her practically perfect children, Tom (Carolyn), David, and Jan Ryan (Craig) brother "Mickey" Callahan (Shirley) of Albany, Oregon, Cousin-in-law Ernie Hovard, beautiful granddaughters Katie and Jessica Bent and more friends than you can shake a stick at! A "Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, June 14 at 4pm at Shoreline Yacht Club, 386 E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 7, 2015
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