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Dennis John Pegg

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Dennis John Pegg Obituary
STILLWATER - Dennis John Pegg, 68, of Stillwater, died Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at home.

Born in Newton, Mr. Pegg was a lifelong resident of Sussex County, graduating from Newton High School in 1962. He was a United States Army veteran, serving during the Vietnam Era from 1964 to 1968. He opened the National Bank of Sussex County Branch in Stillwater and became its first branch manager. Mr. Pegg worked at the bank five years and then went to work for the Sussex County Sheriff's Department. He retired from the Sheriff's Department as a senior lieutenant on Jan. 1, 1996, after 28 years of service. Following his retirement, he was a ranger at Stokes State Forest for seven years before retiring in 2001. Mr. Pegg was Sussex County's first permanent certified range master and director of training, which continued for many years.

Mr. Pegg was a distinguished member of the New York Police Department Honor Legion, a sponsor for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a life distinguished member of the Police Department's State of New Jersey Honor Legion, the International Association of Law Enforcement (IALEFI) where he was a firearms instructor and former member of the Board of Directors, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET), the International Association of Correctional Officers, the Interstate Law Enforcement Association, a past director and life member of the International Association of Law Enforcement, a life member of PBA 138, a 30-year Justice for the NJ Police Training Commission, a member of the Police Nation Mausoleum Association, a former range master for Fort Dix and the Division of Criminal Justice in New Jersey, a former member of the Sparta Police Pistol Team, and a former member of the National Sheriff's Association. He was a life endowment member and certified firearms instructor of the NRA, certified in pistol, rifle, shotgun and sub-gun.

He also was a member and chaplain of the Newton American Legion Post 86, a life member and former president and vice president of the Stillwater Historical society, served on the Board of Trustees and was a life member and former president of the Sussex County Historical Society, an Honorary Citizen of Boys Town (Nebraska), a former member of the Sierra Club and the Commanders Club for Disabled American Veterans for 20 years, he was a former member of Sparta Kiwanis, a past president of the Knowlton Lions Club, a past president of the Kittatinny Lions Club, a former treasurer of the North Warren Lions Club, a former member of Sparta Rotary, a former county committeeman, a 15-year member of the Republican National Committee, a member of Moose International, a life member of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., a 45-year member of the National Geographic Society, and a former member of the American Red Cross Association.

A longtime supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, Mr. Pegg was involved with the Woodbridge troop, a former scoutmaster for Troop 83 in Stillwater, a past scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster of Troop 86, as well as the committee chairman and a former Sussex/Morris Council Advancement Committee Chairman. Mr. Pegg was a member and former chairman of the Order of the Arrow, Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil Honor, Allemakewiak Lodge 54, served as their election committee chairman, was Wood Badge qualified, was a recipient of the Distinguished award of Merit, and was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award.

Other memberships and organizations included being a 30-year member of the New Jersey Audubon Society, a member and past president of the Sussex County Bird Club, where he served two terms as its president, a 30-year century club member of the Nature Conservancy, the NY/NJ Trail Conference, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, a volunteer on the Appalachian Trail, a charter member of the Appalachian Trail museum, and a former member of the Hawk Migration Association of North America.

A 20-year member of the Christian Appalachian Project, he was a former member of the NJ/NY Trail Conference. Mr. Pegg's trail name on the Appalachian Trail was the "Desperado" and he was a Trail Angel who helped hundreds of hikers for more than four decades. Due to the tremendous lengths he would go to help them, some called him the "Trail Pope."

To those who knew him well he will be remembered as a great man who always went above and beyond the call of duty and one whose love and loyalty for his friends was unparalleled. Ad Astra per Aspera.

The son of the late Chester J. Pegg Jr. and Estelle (McPeek) Pegg-Ayres, Mr. Pegg also was predeceased by a sister, Joyce Ann Pegg. He is survived by many friends throughout the world, whom he considered family. Mr. Pegg also is survived by his siblings, Chester J. "Jim" Pegg III, Kathleen Mabee, Nancy Pegg, Ronald Ayres and Linda Ayres Solomita; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral services will begin at 10:15 a.m. Friday, June 22, at Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, 63 High St., Newton, followed by an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph R.C. Church in Newton. Interment will be held in St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 21, from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home with American Legion Services at 8:30 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, NJ 07860; or the Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203 (or donate online at www.nature.org); or New Jersey Audubon Society Headquarters, 9 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924 (or donate online at www.njaudubon.org).

Online condolences may be offered at www.smithmccrackenfuneralhome.com.

Published in The New Jersey Herald on June 19, 2012
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