Margaret E. O’Brien, 1929-2021

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Margaret Elizabeth O’Brien “Peggy O,” 91, died June 30, 2021 at Cedar Hill in Windsor, Vt. Peggy was born Aug. 4, 1929, the daughter of John and Honorah (Kelly) O’Brien. Peggy graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1947. If you were to look at her high school yearbook, you would see the following words: “Meet a typical Irish lassie with twinkling eyes, a charming smile, and a bright hello for everybody. Peggy has won the hearts of everyone, both in and out of school.”

In November of 1947, Peggy joined several other family members as employees at Robertson’s Paper Company. In March of 1948, Peggy was hired as a teller at the Bellows Falls Trust Company. During her tenure there, she worked in all areas of the bank, retiring in 1991 as the vice president in charge of human resources. Her stellar rise in the banking field was due in large part to Hayes Stagner, who recognized her talents and skills and encouraged her to move forward in her career.

In a dedication statement presented at her retirement, it was stated: “It is important to repeat that she worked in all areas of the bank because it speaks to the quality and character of this special person. Her willingness to do whatever the company needed or to help any colleague at any time is an example and an inspiration to all. Her dedication to the bank, her colleagues, and our customers has been unswerving for all those 40-plus years. For her colleagues, it has been a privilege to be associated with her.”

Peggy enjoyed time spent with family and friends. She greatly enjoyed her membership in the 19 Williams Street Coffee Group, which later relocated to any coffee shop that allowed the group to start their mornings together and to watch out and care for one another. It saddened her when many of them passed on, leaving an empty chair at the table and saddened her even more when the group eventually disbanded. She was a member of the Bellows Falls Women’s Club and loved telling jokes at their meetings – even though she often forgot the punch line.

In her younger days, Peg was an avid golfer and bowler. She was the last living member of the “dollar bill” club. In the early 1960s, five lovely ladies tore a one-dollar bill into five pieces, each taking a piece as a reminder of their friendship. The group included Peggy, Julie Prybylo, Betty Faulkner, Kay Hennessey, and Anna Mae Kelly. Peggy was in proud possession of her piece of her share of that dollar.

The things that she loved and valued the most in life were her faith, her friends, her Irish heritage, and above all her family.

She was predeceased by her parents and her sister Mary “Mamie” Bernadette O’Brien. She is survived by her sister Catherine Ann (O’Brien) Davignon and her favorite brother-in-law David Francis Davignon. She is additionally survived by two nephews, a niece, one grandnephew, and one grandniece: John Francis Davignon of Seattle, Wash., Michael James Davignon (Mayumi) of Yokohama, Japan, Kathleen Kelly Elizabeth Davignon of Fairfield, Conn., Louis Yoneda Davignon and Mana Yoneda Davignon of Yokohama, Japan.

Remaining unmarried throughout her life, Peggy frequently referred to herself as “an unclaimed treasure.” Although she had no children of her own, she loved the Davignon children and grandchildren more than life itself and they loved her in return.

Being from two strong Irish families made up of people named O’Brien and Kelly, she is also survived by more beloved cousins than it is possible to count.

The Davignon family would like to sincerely thank Dr. Christopher LaRocca for the wonderful care that he provided to Peg over many years. She hated going to the doctor’s office, but she loved seeing him. Blessings on you, Dr. LaRocca. Additional thanks to the numerous doctors who cared for her until she joined the community at Cedar Hill.

We’re very grateful to the entire staff at Cedar Hill for the wonderful care they provided to her during her time there. No one could have asked for more. Their kindness to Peg and to us went far beyond any expectation that we had.

Special thanks to Kalen Saunders who provided her with care, companionship, and true friendship – and truly became part of the O’Brien/Davignon family.

Emily Dickenson once wrote: “I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one might not leave such stillness.” Peggy would want us to fill that deep and sad stillness with much laughter and love. It shall be done.

In lieu of flowers, Peggy has requested that donations be made to the Parks Place Family Resource Center in Bellows Falls. Visitation will be at Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home, Monday, July 5, from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Peter’s Church in North Walpole, N.H. at 10 a.m. A reception will follow at Leslie’s Tavern in Rockingham.

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