Margaret (Oliver) Hedeman, affectionately known as Peggy, passed away peacefully in Concord, Massachusetts on March 5, 2023, following a period of declining health. She was 84.
Peggy was born in Montclair, New Jersey, on Sept. 14, 1938. The daughter of the late Rowland Grant and Ruth Morgan Oliver, she grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut, attending New Canaan Country School. Later, she attended Abbot Academy and graduated from Wheelock College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1960. That same year, she married her beloved husband, William (Bill) McIver Hedeman in New Canaan. He predeceased Peggy in 2003.
Peggy and Bill’s 43 years together brought them in partnership from the east coast out to Sunnyvale, California, then to Cambridge, Massachusetts, Radnor, PA, Youngstown, OH, Atlanta, GA, Arcadia, CA, Lake Forest, IL, and then back to Atlanta. In 1998, they retired to Skidaway Island, outside of Savannah, GA, where Peggy lived for 22 years.
Peggy’s passion for both learning and teaching encompassed everything she did. An elementary school teacher for most of her life, Peggy had a gift for eliciting wonder and curiosity, not only from her students, but from people of all ages. From creating the “Think Tank” while teaching elementary children at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, to giving tours at the Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, to volunteering at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island, Peggy made learning fun, often pushing boundaries in playful and irreverent ways. Whether converting her classroom into a rainforest, or the solar system, Peggy used education as a tool to help children understand the impact they can have in helping to understand and preserve the environment.
An ardent lover of nature (birds and butterflies in particular), Peggy spent much of her free time outdoors walking, biking, sailing, playing tennis and golf – and later, teaching her grandchildren about birds, nature and wildlife in general. In delightful support of Bill’s fishing adventures, Peggy hiked and camped in California, Alaska, Banff and New Zealand. Two of her favorite places to enjoy nature were Small Point, Maine and on her porch overlooking the marsh on Skidaway Island.
Music was always a big part of Peggy’s life. She sang in choruses in high school and college and always enjoyed going to the symphony. She continued singing and playing hand bells in various churches throughout her life, and especially enjoyed her involvement with “The Notables,” an a capella group at Skidaway.
As anyone who knew her would attest, Peggy had a knack for meeting new people, creating new communities, and bringing people together. She was deeply caring, warm and compassionate, and she always made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. Genuinely interested in understanding what made you tick, she asked questions about your perspective or opinion on a wide range of topics. Peggy was always looking for ways to help other people, and this led to her involvement with Meal on Wheels, the Link crisis hotline for women and the creation of Financial Bootcamp for Women at the Landings.
More than anything, Peggy loved her family. She was a dedicated wife and incredible mother who would do anything for her family; one of her greatest joys in life was watching and supporting her seven grandchildren. She will be terribly missed, but is and will continue to be present every day through the lives of her children and grandchildren.
She leaves behind her son, Rick Hedeman, his wife Rena, and their children Catlin, Margaret, and Lizzie of Concord, daughter Nancy Cleary, her husband Joe, and their children Jacqueline and William of Windsor, Connecticut, daughter Holly Hedeman, her partner Phil Perham, and her children Olive and Hannah of Exeter, New Hampshire, along with two brothers David Oliver and his wife Christina and Tom Oliver and his wife Anne. She was predeceased by her sister and brother-in-law, Anne and Dick Jackson.
A celebration of her life will be planned at a later date.
Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord. For Peggy’s online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.