It is with deep sadness and tragic relief I announce the death of my beloved wife of 34 years: Peggy Hardin. She succumbed to the ravages of Parkinson’s Disease and dementia at McKendree Health Care center on Thursday, April 21st. Peggy fought a valiant and spirited battle with Parkinson’s, but the last four and a half years have been full of loss and difficulty as the dementia worsened, her ability to walk diminished, and the fatigue became overwhelming. Over the past six or so months, she was not able to communicate effectively. Peggy never complained and did her best to maintain some independence and dignity, but at some point, you wonder what the fight is accomplishing. When she died, I believe she was tired and looking for a way to “fly away” as in the popular hymn that she loved almost as much as “Hail Thee,Festival Day.” But she would be the first to offer thanks for all the support she received. And I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and give thanks for the many kindnesses extended to both of us from family and a wonderful extended family. You know who you are. Thank you.
Peggy, as most of her friends and family knew her, was a queen of hospitality, a lover of good wine, dance, and show tunes (especially the Wizard of Oz), Neil Diamond, and Johnny Mathis. She enjoyed gardening and the fun of decorating our Edgefield home in her own unique ways. Rainbow colors come to mind.
Peggy loved to entertain at our Fatherland Street painted lady until the illness deprived us all of the joy of attending another Christmas Eve, Super Bowl, or July Fourth party with her. Many remarked of the variety of people who came to our home Christmas Eve to play Chinese Christmas. Not to mention parties to root for the Vols (some under protest), celebrate Obama victories, or mourn a Blue defeat. We opened our home on more than one occasion for the Edgefield tour of homes as well.
Peggy was well known for her ability to organize and plan events at home, work, or church. Her daughter, Kristen was never shy about telling people her Mom knew how to throw a party and make everyone feel at home. A delightful sense of humor being a major asset. One friend remarked Peggy ran a wayward home for gays.
Peggy was a member of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Nashville. Peggy and I served as youth coordinators for the diocese during the eighties. She served on the vestry and as Senior Warden during the rebuilding of our church after the 1998 tornado.
We were married at St. Ann’s on July 4th, 1987, our indepenDANCE Day. We set up housekeeping in Hendersonville where we raised our three teenagers: Kristen, Todd, and Thomas. Or more accurately, they and their friends kept us on our toes and holding our breath during the high school years. We hosted many teenage church events: Happenings, Spring and Fall Retreats usually at DuBose, or the holy mountain as the kids loved to call it. A fitting name as Peggy and I met there at a Cursillo, orchestrated by our priest in 1986; and later honeymooned there at Sky High as guests of Marvin Runyon and Sue Atkinson. Peggy was employed at Sue Atkinson Public Relations at the time before moving on to Buntin and Bohan public relations. She finished her career at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center as administrative assistant to the executive director. She retired in 2007.
Peggy and I enjoyed marriage; she was my lover and best friend. We shared an abundance of good times with numerous friends whether from her Opryland USA days (where she worked in the eighties), or with church and youth groups and a bunch of neighborhood friends. We rarely missed a rousing Friday night with 10 to 20 friends at Edgefield Bar and Grill until the place closed. A few years back Peggy was happy to serve as queen mother for the Red Dress parade. We had both been active in Nashville Cares and worked to advocate and support a more inclusive church community in the diocese.
Margaret (Peggy) Adams Shipp Hardin (aged 76) leaves her husband Tom, sister Jean, stepson Thomas and his fiancé Lois, sister-in-law Julia, brother-in-law Dennis and wife Cheryl, grandchild Noah Deitrick, and daughter-in-law Laura. She was preceded in death by beloved children Kristen Lea and Todd Adams Deitrick and by her parents, Roy L. and Gene Shipp.
A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, at 4 pm, at St Ann’s Episcopal Church in East Nashville. A time to share stories and greet the family will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to East Nashville Hope Exchange
the Parkinson's Disease Foundation
St. Ann's Episcopal Church
To send flowers to Margaret's family, please visit our floral store.