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Peggy Stebbins

1932 - 2019
Peggy Stebbins Obituary


Peggy Lou Stebbins was born in Arcata on September 22, 1932 to William Vinal and Esma Catherine Hunt, and passed away at 86 years old on June 18, 2019.
A life-long lover of art, Peggy studied it throughout her schooling, first at Arcata Grammar School, then at Arcata High, where she developed serious skills with her mentor, Pearl Degenhart, and later at Humboldt State College, where she majored in Art and Art Education.
Peggy taught second grade at Sunset Elementary School, Art/Crafts and Stage Design at Arcata High School, and third grade at Dows Prairie Elementary School until she retired. Also for a number of years during that time, Peggy stayed at home on Hunts Drive in McKinleyville, where she and her husband, Laurald (married June 8, 1952) raised their two children, Kit and Tod. After she retired, Peggy continued to teach part-time at HSU in the education department, mentoring elementary school teachers in the visual arts.
Peggy started painting seriously at Humboldt State with Doug Sievers, from whom she learned the technique of transparent watercolor. Doug encouraged her to develop her focus in this style, and she pursued it with zeal. Peggy's bright personality splashed onto the page in saturated colors, and grinned at you through the colorful animals and landscapes she would create. Peggy painted on annual summer camping trips with the Hosterman Family, illustrated two published children's books, and continued her detailed and whimsical watercolors up until a month before her passing.
Peggy was also an avid birder, traveling to several exotic locations to seek sightings of rare wings and to gather inspiration for future paintings.
Peggy was like a magnet, gathering people to birdwatch, hike, eat meals, craft, sew, and read books together. She even managed to coerce several members of her high school class of 1950 to climb Mount Lassen to celebrate their 70th birthdays! Her life-long friend, Joy Sundberg, was often by her side in these escapades. Peggy was always a vibrant part of the lunches and socials her high school class put on every month.
Peggy was predeceased by her husband, Laurald Stebbins; her sister-in-law, Rose Stebbins; and nephew, Brian Hunt. She is survived by her brother, Rich Hunt and his wife, Carolyn; her brother-in-law, Francis "Toads" Stebbins; daughter Kit and husband, Ken Britt; son Tod Stebbins and wife, Bianca, and their daughters, Juli and Katie. Nephews include Dean Hunt and his wife, Dana; Brian's wife, Cindi Hunt; Scott Hunt and his wife, Sandi; Jeff Stebbins; and niece, Stefanie Stebbins. Great nephews and nieces Jason, Cory, Chris, Kendall, Tyler and Alex Hunt, and Jett, Adora and Ayla Stebbins counted Auntie Peggy as a special person in their lives.
Peggy wanted to be sure to mention that everyone at Mad River Hospital did an excellent and kind job taking care of her.
We will miss Peggy's spitfire, love, and kindness, but take comfort in knowing that the world is a little more colorful because of her.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Cher-Ae Heights in Trinidad on August 13 from 1-3 PM. Bring kind words and or funny Peggy stories to share.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the HSU Art Alumni Scholarship in memory of Peggy and Laurald Stebbins. Humboldt State University Foundation, Gift Processing Center, Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst St. Arcata, CA, 95521
Published in Eureka Times-Standard from July 21 to July 23, 2019
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