Knitting 11

Peggy Hall Wolfe

August 25, 1918 ~ August 20, 2021 (age 102)

Obituary

Peggy Hall Wolfe, age 102, died on August 20, 2021, at Renaissance Assisted Living in De Pere, WI.

She was born in Montana in 1918 and lived there for her first 12 years.  Peggy was a strong and independent woman at a time when that was not expected of women.  She learned to ride a horse at age 3 when her parents strapped her on and let her go. Told many stories about rattlesnakes, bears, and family camping trips to Glacier Park, where her love of nature was born.

The family moved to Minneapolis, MN in 1930 where Peggy was a Girl Scout for 7 years and then a camp counselor in the Boundary Waters country. She was Twin Cities Junior Archery Champion of 1936. 

She graduated from Carlton College in 1941 as a biology major who also loved astronomy and English literature and competed in horse riding shows.

After college graduation Peggy joined the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Emergency Class which trained PT’s for the impending war.  As she studied for finals in December of 1941, she heard on the radio that Pearl Harbor had been bombed and the United States had declared war on Japan.  The next month she was stationed at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver.  She was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in February of 1944 and sent to Cirencester, England where, at age 25, she became physical therapy coordinator for 17 hospitals with 25,000 wounded patients.

After the war she married Donald Wolfe and moved to Rock Island, IL.  They were married for 63 years until his death in 2010.  They had two children, John and Anne, and moved to Green Bay in 1953 where she resided until her death.

When a polio epidemic broke out in 1954 Peggy returned to work at the Curative Workshop for a short time to help the children with their physical rehabilitation.  She returned to work again in 1960 for 25 more years, first at St Vincent Hospital, and then for many years at St Mary’s where she eventually became Director of the Physical Therapy Department, retiring in 1985.  She also served on the Wisconsin state licensing board.  She said of her career, “As a physical therapist I helped people by being ‘a companion in a common struggle.”

Peggy had an adventurous spirit, which blossomed in retirement when she and Don (and dog Killer) took to the road in their motorhome for 18 years -- exploring parks and historical sites, birding, and golfing all over the country.  In 2013 at age 95 she went to Washington DC on the Honor Flight for veterans of WW2.

Peggy had many interests.  She was a lifelong birder – starting her bird list at Girl Scout Camp as a teenager-- and a life member of the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology. She was active in First Presbyterian Church for decades, teaching Sunday School and serving as a deacon.  She was a charter member of the MacDowell Club of Green Bay.  She was co-leader of Green Bay Girl Scout Troop #1 for 7 years with Ginny Vandeleest. A former Scout in the troop recalled that Peggy led the girls with a light touch, believing the girls should take charge to develop their own sense of competence and responsibility.

She always had a passion for needlework. She learned how to sew at the age of 3, was a charter member of the Green Bay Embroiderer’s Guild and crafted many beautiful and intricate embroidery and needlepoint projects.  After age 100 she took up knitting washcloths for the staff at Renaissance and continued to the last month of her life.

Another passion was reading detective novels, often one a day, staying up late into the night to finish.  A couple of her favorites were Tony Hillerman and Dick Frances.

Her best friend Lill summed her up this way, “Peg was a dear friend to many and was always willing to share her many interests, be it birds or cacti or cross-stitch or novels.  She was serious but was also a lot of fun.”

Peggy is survived by son John Wolfe and his wife Ruth Lamdan, daughter Anne Wolfe, grandson Doug Mandell and his partner Claire Jouseau, great granddaughter Solene Mandell, Cousin Robert Volker, and best friends Lillian and Gerald Poss.

The family gives great thanks and appreciation for 12 years of loving care by the staff at Renaissance Assisted Living.  And much love and appreciation to Traci Budahn from Heartland Hospice.

There will be no memorial service at this time.  A private family celebration of Peggy’s life will be held later.

Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos may be shared with Peggy's family on her tribute page at www.lyndahl.com

 

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