Margaret C. Howe (Peggy), 94, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on April 23, 2021, at her home in Rhinebeck, NY. She was born and raised in Poughkeepsie where her father was a co-proprietor of the Nelson House Hotel. She would reminisce about how her father coordinated the communications for FDR’s security detail when he was in residence in Hyde Park. She attended St Agnes School in Albany before entering Wellesley College from where she graduated in 1948. Her first job involved marketing for Luckey Platt and Co. Before long she was asked to host an hour-long radio show each day under the name, “Lucy Luckey”, discussing local topics of interest and specials ongoing within the store.
The next chapter in her life began when she married Harry H. Hill Jr. in 1952 and moved to Rhinebeck. Five children were born in rapid succession but she always found time to follow her passion as an involved board member of the Children’s Home in Poughkeepsie. She was instrumental in working with the Thompson Trust to transform the old Starr Library in the village of Rhinebeck to the present-day library/community center that is enjoyed by all today. When possible, she traveled with Harry and brought back wonderful stories about the foreign lands she saw, sparking a strong curiosity in all her children to see and experience the world.
After Harry’s untimely death in 1965, she married Clarence K Howe (Bud) in 1967. Bud, a widower had 3 children of his own, causing the combined Hill-Howe clan to grow to 8 which made for a very lively household. Bud was the site manager at the Kingston, NY, IBM facility. As such, they entertained many visiting inspirational speakers; including astronauts and Olympic gold medalists.
Her ongoing interest and curiosity in meeting and engaging with a variety of people was constant. She was a keen listener with an uncanny memory and a wonderful sense of humor which she maintained until the very end.
Her interest in philanthropy never waned either. She was an ardent supporter of Planned Parenthood for its support of women’s health as well as many other local and national organizations supporting the environment, education and community services. She was a member of the Red Hook Golf Club and she was happily surprised by her two holes in one!
In her 70’s, Peggy was diagnosed with macular degeneration and slowly began to lose her sight and her ability to read which was very difficult as she was a voracious reader. She handled her disability with extraordinary grace. As the disease progressed, audible books became her world. She especially enjoyed historical fiction and biographies. Perhaps it is not a mere coincidence that she passed on National Book Day.
In 2019 she was one of four subjects in a film series made by the Hudson Valley Oral History Project, Peg Howe, Making Home.
She is survived by her children; Bruce Howe (Joan), Brian Howe, Anna Hill Price, Harry (Huck) Hill, Peter Hill (Joanne), Mary Hill (Carlos Rodriguez), Sarah Hill (Guillermo Fesser), and Ann May as well as her brother Peter Coughlan. She was predeceased by Pam Howe 1/30/2021 and Lynn Howe 4/26/2018. She has 14 adoring grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren and 1 great great grandson.
Her family plans a private burial with a memorial celebration at her home to be announced. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood, the Starr Library or the Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margaret C. Howe, please visit our floral store.