Briggs, Margaret Rankin, Age: 95, Fair Haven

January 10, 2017

Margaret “Peggy” Briggs, of Sun City Center, Florida, and formerly of Fair Haven, Severna Park, Maryland and Orlando, Florida, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 26 at the age of 95.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 72 years, Charles Dalton Briggs, who died in 2014. She is survived by her five children: David (Pat) of Annapolis, Maryland; Eric of Huntingtown, Maryland; Jonathan (Kathy) of Centreville, Maryland; Carla Frame (Mark) of Brandon, Florida, and Lisa of Fort Mill, South Carolina; 12 grandchildren: David, Megan, Tyler, Erica, Kirsten, Jason, Jonathan, Matthew, Lauren, Carson, Christopher and Ruby; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Peggy was born in Red Bank in 1921 to George and Loretta Corr Glassey. She was the youngest of four children. Brothers Charlie and George predeceased her as did her older sister, Loretta Glassey Ingalls. As a young child, she was adopted by a loving couple, Wallace and Rachel Rankin. From that point on, she had a unique upbringing with the love and support of both families.

As a child, and well into her teens, Peggy’s love was performing on the stage. In the Red Bank-Rumson area, she developed a reputation as an outstanding tap dancer and singer, someone who could bring an audience to its feet. While attending Rumson High School, Peggy became quite enamored with Charlie Briggs, the lead trumpet player and bandleader of the “Briggadiers,” a swing band which played throughout the New Jersey and New York areas. With a shared passion for music, they frequently traveled together to watch other local musicians and arrangers perform.

Peggy first met Charlie when they were both very young. She must have made quite an impression that fateful day, because Charlie’s Aunt Lil, who formally introduced her nephew to Peggy, later told him, “Charlie, this is the girl you’re going to marry!” Indeed, Aunt Lil must have been psychic for on August 2, 1942, Peggy and Charlie were married in Red Bank. Shortly thereafter, Charlie enlisted in the Army and Peggy found herself raising the first of their five children. After the war, Charlie and Peggy remained in New Jersey where their family continued to grow.

With the opportunity for Charlie to move into positions of higher responsibility within the Bell System, the family left New Jersey and lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for a few years and then settled in Severna Park, Maryland, in 1958. There, Peggy and Charlie became active in local community organizations and Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church where Peggy sang in the choir. Peggy served as secretary and later president, of the Severna Park Booster Mothers’ club which was formed to help raise funds for equipment needed by the school’s athletic programs.

Both Peggy and Charlie were founding members of the Severna Park High School Falcon Field Boosters and were instrumental in helping to raise funds needed for the construction of the first Falcon Field which was inaugurated in 1962.

In 1972, Peggy and Charlie returned to the Rumson-Fair Haven areas and renewed childhood friendships and close family ties. The couple purchased an historic home in Fair Haven and devoted several years to its restoration. The home was recognized by the Fair Haven Historical Society and Garden Club and was celebrated in their Standard Home Flower Show of October, 1, 1982.

In 1985, Peggy and Charlie moved to Orlando, Florida. There, they enjoyed golf, tennis, and entertaining visiting family members and friends. The couple moved to Sun City Center, Florida, in 2013.

Peggy, affectionately called “Momba” by her family members, loved working in her flower beds, landscaping, and decorating all of the homes the family lived in. She took great pride in her culinary skills: her spaghetti and meatball dinners, taken from a recipe given to her by a neighboring Italian family, were extraordinary. She was an avid reader who looked forward to her visits to the library.

Peggy possessed a great singing voice and would often stop what she was doing to dramatically “belt out” a Frank Sinatra classic, or more often, her favorite song, Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow.” Peggy was the “Rock” of the family, loving and supporting her husband and children unconditionally. Peggy devoted much of her time to archiving the family history, resulting in a voluminous collection of priceless photo albums to be passed on to her children.

Peggy and Charlie leave behind endless memories which will brighten their family’s days forever. We thank you, Mom, for all the sacrifices you made on our behalf and for all the love you gave so freely. A rich, full life, well lived. May you rest in peace.

Services will be held at a later date. It is requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Peggy’s name to the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, 106 E. Church Street, Orlando FL, 32801.

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