Margaret Helene Childs, 81, of Middlebury


MIDDLEBURY — Our loving mom, nana, wife and sister, Peggy, as she was affectionally known to her friends and family, passed away on Nov. 3, 2022, at the Residence of Otter Creek in Middlebury, Vt., with her daughter by her side.

Peggy was born in Newburyport, Mass., on May 19, 1941, to Edward and Margaret (Casey) Reardon. Peggy lived her entire life in Newburyport until this last handful of years that she spent in Middlebury near her daughter and grandchildren.

As a graduate of The Immaculate Conception Elementary and High School, Peggy went on to receive her Master’s in Teaching from Salem State College. Soon thereafter she married Thomas “Timmy” Childs Jr. on July 11, 1965. They enjoyed 42 years of marriage before Timmy passed away on Jan. 25, 2007.

Prior to starting a family with Timmy and raising their two daughters, Mary Beth and Stephanie, Peggy taught mathematics at Newburyport High School, where she went on to be the head of the Math Department. After her daughters entered high school, Peggy went back to teaching, this time teaching mathematics at The Governor’s Academy, formerly known as Governor Dummer Academy, where she also coached the JV soccer team and the JV and varsity tennis teams.

Peggy enjoyed many interests in life. Tennis was a passion she shared with her husband and daughters. As members of the Newburyport Racquet Club and Old Town Country Club, she enjoyed countless hours of playing tennis with friends and family. Dinners on the porch and time spent on friends’ boats at the O.C.C. brought her great joy, too.

Later in life, Peggy picked up a passion for golf. She regularly played with friends at courses around Newburyport area, including being a member at Old Town in Newbury. Later in life, Peggy and Timmy enjoyed spending winter months in Naples, Fla., playing golf and bocce with old friends from Newburyport and new friends met down there.

Peggy’s love of gardening showed with her backyard filled with beautiful flower beds and lush green gardens. Her home was filled with house plants and fresh cut flowers. She was a longtime member of the Newbury Garden Club, including being its treasurer, until the time she moved up to Vermont. Whether it was playing Bridge or Cribbage with Timmy and other couples, or playing in her weekly Bridge Group, Peggy enjoyed playing cards — a pastime that her mom also very much enjoyed and something that Peggy passed down to her children.

If you knew Peggy, you knew that she did multiple crossword puzzles and sudokus a day and always with her red pen — a habit acquired from her days correcting all those math tests and homework. An avid reader, Peggy would be reading two or three books at once and always belonged to a book group. She volunteered at the local neighborhood branch of the Newburyport Public Library, the Emma L. Andrews Library. And she loved the beach — sitting, reading a book or taking long walks to collect seashells and seagrass was how she loved to spend summer days with her family.

Peggy knit the most beautiful blankets and sweaters. Many have received a hand-knit sweater at their baby shower or a beautiful Irish-knit blanket as a wedding gift. And no-one did Christmas like Peggy — her favorite holiday of the year.

But what Peggy loved most of all was her family. She was a wonderful and doting mother and very loving grandmother.

Peggy is survived by her daughter, Mary Beth Childs, and her grandchildren Creed, Anna and Beckett; her daughter Stephanie Vallejo and her grandson, Joshua; her brother, Paul Reardon, and her sisters Joanne Shoemake, Alice McLeod and Elizabeth Pettingell; her brothers-in-law Gordon Shoemake, Paul McLeod and William Pettingell; and her many nieces and nephews, whom she loved dearly.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Haven Memory Care at the Residence at Otter Creek in Middlebury, Vt., who provided loving care to Peggy in her last few years as she succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Family and friends called from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the Twomey, LeBlanc and Conte Funeral Home, 193 High St., Newburyport, MA 01950. A devout Catholic, her funeral Mass was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 10:30 a.m., at Immaculate Conception in Newburyport, followed by burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Peggy’s memory to either the Emma L. Andrews Library and Community Center in Newburyport, or to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease

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