Peggy Ann Zeller passed away on August 25, 2021. In her 66 years on earth, Peggy lived her life on her own terms: she was the first in her family to graduate from college and became a teacher, she married the love of her life and spent thirty-nine years laughing at him, and she raised one daughter, who, as Peggy liked to say, “turned out all right.”
Lover of vintage mystery novels, crisp fall days and Doris Day movies, Peggy was a quirky, kind soul. She collected teapots, Depression-era glassware and friendships, all of which she carefully and lovingly curated. Ever the fashion icon, she hoarded hats, shoes, and of course, purses. Peggy’s philosophy was a simple one: God created storage space, so why not use it? She tucked away photos of family and friends into the corners of bookshelves and drawers, stored holiday decorations in neatly stacked blue bins in the basement and hid every book she could find under beds.
She was stubborn, strong-willed and sassy. Her battles in life were numerous and epic: for twenty-two years she fought multiple sclerosis with both grit and grace, she laughed in the face of breast cancer and said “you should see what MS tried to do to me,” and she regularly chased away hungry squirrels from her garden with sticks, golf clubs, and any other convenient weapon that she could find. To her credit, Peggy even tried to teach her daughter math, which remains her most contentious battle.
In the end, even Peggy couldn’t out-sass COVID-19. Always the teacher, she did everything right and led by example: she was vaccinated, she wore a mask, she socially distanced, she had even scheduled her booster shot. But on August 6, 2021, she was diagnosed with breakthrough COVID-19. A few weeks later, on August 25, 2021, she died alone in an enclosed glass room in an ICU. Not surprisingly, Peggy’s last defiant act prior to her death was to sass (or, some might even say, bully) the hospital into allowing her husband and daughter to visit her during her final hours, where Peggy’s last conscious memory was of her holding her husband’s hand.
Peggy leaves behind her husband, Phillip J. Zeller III, her brother, Terry Jones, her daughter, Megan Zeller Schmidt, and her son-in-law, Ken Schmidt. Her funeral was a private graveside service for family and friends on September 13, 2021, at the West Point Cemetery in West Point, New York.
In lieu of flowers, her family asks that you donate to the National MS Society in her honor and if you haven’t already, to please get vaccinated.