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Dr. Margaret P. Fenn

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Dr. Margaret P. FENN Born March 23, 1921 in Ironwood, Michigan to Catherine (Steinmetz) and John Walsh; died April 13, 2011 at her home in Seattle, WA. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and teacher, Peggy never lost her positive attitude and sense of humor even as Alzheimer's and pancreatic cancer stole her memory and her strength. Peggy was raised in Antigo, WI, graduating from Antigo High School in 1938. In 1942 she earned her BS in Physical Education from La Crosse State College (now UW-La Crosse). After graduation, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy and in 1943 was called to active duty as a WAVE, serving as a Recreation Officer until 1946. Stationed in Norman, OK and Key West, she coordinated activities for soldiers, many of whom were recovering from battle wounds and shock. After the war, Peggy returned to reserve status, retiring from the Navy in 1952 with the final rank of Lieutenant. Back in Wisconsin, Peggy returned to school for her teaching certificate, and there she met her future husband, Robert Ernst Fenn. Wowed by her date in his coal delivery truck, she and Bob married on August 5, 1948 in Ashland, WI. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Seattle, where Peggy insisted that Bob finish his undergraduate degree. Peggy earned her MBA from the University of Washington in 1950. She worked full time at the UW while raising her two sons, David and Mark, and in 1963 became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Washington's College of Business. She was a pioneer in the field of women in management and her career as a professor and lecturer took her all over the world. Her visiting professorships included the University of California San Diego, Tulane University, and, as a Fulbright Lecturer, Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She was among the very first groups of American visitors allowed into China after they opened their borders in 1972. In her thirty years as a professor at the UW, she published three textbooks and was an advisor to several companies and agencies including theU.S. Postal Service. She acted as Chairwoman for Leadership for Tomorrow and served on the boards of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and Women and Business, Inc. Upon retirement, she was elected to Professor Emeritus. Peggy was passionate about education, and throughout her life she would continue to encourage family, students, and friends to pursue their educational goals. Peggy rarely discussed her accomplishments; her greatest pride was her family. Her enthusiasm for travel took her and Bob on numerous adventures around the world. Weekends meant family trips to the ocean or to the Cascades for hiking, mushroom hunting, and rock hounding; both her sons inherited her love for the outdoors. She taught us that a woman really could do it all, do it well, and have fun. She loved swimming, reading, traveling, and her church, but most of all she loved being a grandmother. Our 'Oma' will be greatly missed. Peggy was preceded in death by her husband Robert on November 5, 2010; and her sister Ann. She is survived by sons David (Ruth) and Mark (Ann); and grandchildren Lauren, Ryan, Kyle and Liam. She leaves behind her beloved sister, Rose and brother, John. We would like to extend special thanks to Peggy's devoted in-home caregivers, Dr. Pamela McDonald of Polyclinic, and the hospice nurses of Swedish Hospital. Private family services were held at Tahoma National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to Swedish Visiting Nurse Services (www.swedish.org). Please sign the on-line Guest Book at www.Legacy.com Hoffner Fisher & Harvey
Published in The Seattle Times on Apr. 24, 2011
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