Margaret Luverne Feldmeier, known to the world as Peggy Lou, died at age 95—but her legacy lives on.
Walk into the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, and you'll find the imprint of a woman determined to fight to preserve the historic building and the incredible story of the Erie Canal—she became the museum's founding trustee, and later, its president.
Drive through South Dakota and feel the courage of young Peggy Lou, age 12, helping her mother drive to Pasadena, CA, to start a new life for their family. She graduated with a degree in Home Economics from UCSB.
Catch a glimpse of the Tournament of Roses Parade, and imagine the humble shrug of a woman so effortlessly and magnetically beautiful that she was plucked out of a Pasadena gym and chosen to be a Rose Bowl Princess in 1939.
See a stainless steel tank and think of the grit and determination she displayed as she built Feldmeier Equipment alongside her husband, Bob Feldmeier—the man she met when serving him coffee on an American Airlines flight, married within 2 months after their first date, and loved unwaveringly for almost 70 years.
Shank a shot on the Onondaga Golf course, and catch the joyful lilt of her laugh—a reminder that it's just a game, and there are two martinis waiting for you at the end of it, so cheer up.
Look out at the rolling hills of Central New York or the peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, and hear her say that, sure, other places are lovely, but isn't this beautiful?
But Peggy Lou's proudest legacy is the family she raised and loved so deeply. She is survived by her sister, Norma; her children, Jeanne, Jake (Maggie), Lisa (Jeffrey) and Robert (Carol); her grandchildren, Kate (Nate), Colby, Julie (Matt), Perrin (Nathan), Jennifer (Kevin) and Lela; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Peggy Lou was also the first working President of the Junior League of Syracuse, where she was later awarded the Mary Harriman Award, the JLS's highest honor. She was a board member of Huntington Family Center; on the Consortium for Children's Services Board; and a member of Thursday Morning Roundtable, Syracuse Garden Club, and Coterie.
Peggy Lou will be buried in Little Falls, NY, next to her husband. Peggy Lou and Bob spent many days at their camp on Lake Pleasant where she swam, weather permitting, late every afternoon and made her famous pancakes for Sunday breakfasts.
Here's to many more swims in the heavens above.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Nottingham RHCF for the wonderful care they gave our mother.
A private burial will be held in Little Falls, NY in May. Donations in her memory may be made to the Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd East. Syracuse, NY 13202