My cousin Margaret recently passed away at the age of 86. I will never forget her infectious laughter at family gatherings. Being with her was like being on the set of a Carol Burnett show. I’m guessing this picture of her and I was probably taken in June of 1950, since it was her 8th grade graduation, and I look to be about a year and a half old. Everyone in the family called her Peggy or Peg, except me. I knew her as Margaret when I was young and that’s what I called her all my life. I’m not good at adapting when it comes to people’s name changes. The pictures below are from my collection of family photos, some of which were passed on to me from my mother’s photo albums. A couple of the photos had writing on the back which I included in quotes. Margaret’s obituary, written by her children, follows the photos. If you have any interesting photos of Margaret that you want me to add, you can email them to me.
Saratoga Springs, NY – Margaret Timmes, 86, passed away on September 23, 2022, with family members by her side. Margaret, also known as Peggy (or Peg) to her friends and family, was born to the late Leon and Rose Messina, in 1936, in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Bishop McDonnell High School in Brooklyn, NY. She married Edward J. Timmes in October 1956. Peg and Ed started their family in Richmond Hill, NY, before moving to Mineola, NY, in 1966, where they raised their four children. They were long-time residents of Mineola, relocating to Saratoga in 2002, to be closer to their two youngest daughters. Peg and Ed were happily married for 52 years, until Ed’s passing in December 2008.
Peggy is survived by her brother, Albert Messina of Bellport, NY, her brother-in law, Richard (Marie) Timmes of Huntington, NY, and her four children: Edward L. (Amy) Timmes; Susan (Angus) Wyckoff; Ellen Timmes Grab; and Janet (Paul) Sorel. She also has seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, Peggy’s brother Philip and his wife Phyllis Messina, and her sister-in-law Elaine Messina, predeceased her death.
While living on Long Island, Peg worked part-time for many years while raising her family. She enjoyed spending summers in Sag Harbor, NY, for several decades with her extended family prior to her move to Saratoga Springs. As a Saratoga resident, she was active in the community, including volunteer administrative work at the Wilton Emergency Squad.
Her hobbies included cooking, painting, bird-watching, reading, and gardening. Throughout her life, Peggy was known for her entertaining nature and her enthusiasm for welcoming friends and family into her home for dinners, parties, and holiday celebrations. Peggy loved hosting family and friends, preparing and sharing her delicious Italian meals, such as eggplant parmigiana, homemade sauce with meatballs, lemon ricotta cookies, zucchini and garlic pasta dishes, among many others, for people who came to visit. No one ever left hungry from Peggy’s home! She also derived much joy painting beautiful watercolors, some of which have found homes with her children and grandchildren who will continue to treasure them. Peggy inspired her children in many other ways. They all have shared many hours drinking coffee with her while watching cardinals, blue jays, and bright yellow finches feeding outside her kitchen picture window.
Peggy extended annual summer invitations to her and Ed’s home in Sag Harbor (before the little Hampton town became the popular tourist attraction it is today). It was in their beach cape house that Peggy and Ed hosted delicious meals, clam bakes, barbecues, competitive card games, sunny beach trips, and raucous laughter for everyone who came and stayed with them. Aunts, uncles, and cousins drove to the east end of Long Island all summer long to pile into spare beds, couches and cots throughout the 30 years they owned the property.
It goes without saying that Peggy inspired and impacted people everywhere she went. She loved to laugh. In December 2015, at her daughter Janet’s holiday party, Peg met Ted VanArthos, who became a good friend during her elder years. Together they enjoyed working crossword puzzles, cooking, and eating out. On at least one occasion, they were asked to leave the 99 Restaurant on Route 50, after laughing too loudly for too long during a peak dinner period! Ted predeceased Peg’s death in 2019.
Peggy’s joyful smile and contagious laugh will be remembered and cherished by all whose lives she dearly touched.