Joanne and I received a note from Peg Hannigan’s daughter this morning informing
us that Peg passed away peacefully last evening in the Stone Institute’s hospice unit. I’m going to miss this dear friend and confidant more than I can express in words.
During the coming weeks, hundreds of Heartfelt tributes will be pouring in from near and far to celebrate Peg’s life and service. They will fill in many details about Peg’s political work and social activism.
I was in Washington when Peg was Chair of the Newton Democratic City Committee so I only know about what she did from what she or others have told me. I first met her at a Newton Democratic Party event at Davis School in West Newton where she and I started belting out Irish songs on an old upright piano. We hit it off instantly, and became close friends to the end. There was hardly a week when we didn’t talk at least once.
I’d like to close with just one Peg Hannigan story from this most recent Presidential campaign. I was one of the coordinators for Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in Newton. I never even thought about approaching Peg to support Bernie because I just assumed it would be off the table. In fact, I thought she might give me hell for being a bit extreme. One morning the phone rang and Peg was on the other end. In a gruff voice she forcefully exclaimed “what’s this I hear about you supporting Sanders”?. I fumble a few words and reply that I am, but we’ll all be together for the general. Peg replies as best I can recall “well, I’m for him too. He’s saying what Democrats should have been saying all along.” Then what was always the clincher from Peg. “You can use my name”. I said “Peg, a lot of people on the Committee aren’t going to like this”, to which she replies “They will all get over it.” I then ask if she’d be willing to join Rodney Barker as co-chairs of the Newton campaign. Peg chortled and replied “I’ll do anything to bring the English and Irish together”.That was vintage Peg Hannigan.