Margaret “Peggy Mac” M. Gainer Newell

July 1, 1930 - November 15, 2017

Margaret “Peggy Mac” McKown Gainer Newell of Romney, WV died peacefully on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, MD.   She was 87.

Peggy Mac is the daughter of the late Edward Washington Miller and Mary Browning Keller Miller.  She is also predeceased by her husbands; Laurell Aubert “Tinker” Gainer (1965) and Robert Newell (1999) and her brother, Edward Washington “Ned” Miller.

She is survived by (2) sons; David E. Gainer (wife Robin) of Ridgeley, WV and Joseph A. Gainer (wife Deborah) of Fairfax, VA., her daughter, Louisa G. Bridges (husband David) of Romney and Warrenton, VA., her sister, Louisa M. Hardy of Romney, WV., (9) grandchildren; Sarah, David, Chris, Elizabeth, Jordan, Emery, Lauren, William and Kate; (12) great grandchildren; Joshua, Caleb, Elle, Levi, Lillian, Layla, Clara, Audrey, Savannah, Maddox, Ryan and Luke; and a very special niece, Margaret.  Peggy Mac is also survived by her second, and loving family, the Newells to whom she was a loving and wonderful step mother.  She leaves behind a wealth of other family members and friends.

Peggy Mac was born and raised in Romney and graduated with the class of 1948 from Romney High.  She attended and graduated from West Virginia University in 1952 with her Bachelor of Science in Education, and also married Laurell Aubert “Tinker” Gainer that same year.  Tinker was in the U.S. Air Force and they moved to Ft. Detrick, Frederick, MD where they started their family in 1953 and moved briefly to Florida.  After the Air Force, they moved back to Romney where Peggy Mac’s focus was taking care of and loving her new family.  Tinker died unexpectedly in 1965 when Peggy Mac was 34 with (3) children ages 12, 8 and 5.  She made everything okay.  She enrolled at Catherman’s business school and did what had to be done to keep things on an even keel.  She had the support of a loving sister, brother and a Christian spirit.  Peggy Mac taught the first grade at the West Virginia School for The Blind for two years and she loved it – and the kids loved her. She felt she was where she belonged.

The next major chapter in her life, and second love story,  began at the Episcopal Church in Romney where she met Robert Newell.  Also a widower and member of the church, they married in 1972 and the two families joyfully blended.  Their life on the farm at North River was a time of tremendous joy for both of them.  The two families created huge numbers and gatherings were frequent and memorable.  Bob and Peggy Mac enjoyed 27 years together and cherished every moment.   Bob died in 1999 and Peggy Mac adjusted her life again.  Never one to be sad over what she lost, she focused on how wonderful it all had been.  Peggy Mac moved back to Romney to a family home (her aunt, Miss Izzy’s) on Main St.  Again, enjoying what life had to offer and being grateful for what she had.  Peggy Mac experienced a stroke in the Fall of 2010 and she adjusted again.  She could no longer drive or travel on her own, but she made the best of it.  Still the quintessential hostess who still entertained and loved to have visitors.  Always a warm, welcoming and loving smile, she would direct all attention on her guests, never herself.

Peggy Mac was president of the PTA and a member of the Romney First United Methodist Church.   She loved to read and entertain.  She also hosted Bible Studies at her home until her fight with cancer began.  However, this will conclude with focusing on her love of people; her family, her friends and total strangers.  Her rock solid faith and joyful spirit will long be remembered and she will leave an empty spot in Hampshire County.

Friends will be received from 10AM until funeral services at 12 noon on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 at The First United Methodist Church of Romney.  Interment will follow at Indian Mound Cemetery, Romney.

Contributions may be made to:  Romney First United Methodist Church ~ 49 North High St. ~ Romney, WV 26757 / Alzheimer’s Association ~ 8180 Greensboro Dr. ~ Suite 400 ~ McLean, VA 22102 ~ 800.727.3900 / Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) ~ 375 Kings Highway North ~ Cherry Hill, NJ 08034 ~ 800.532.7667 ~

Inquiries may be directed to Shaffer Funeral Home, 304-822-3511

Carter Wagoner November 21, 2017

14 condolences for “Margaret “Peggy Mac” M. Gainer Newell”

  1. Louisa and family,
    It’s been a privilege to have known you and Peggy Mac for basically my whole life. She had a lovely disposition and will be missed by so many people. Thoughts especially with you, Louisa, as you adjust to the loss of not only your mother, but also your best friend. May your memories of her warmth and love comfort you.

  2. Dear David & Robin, Joe & Deborah, Louisa and families,
    Your mother was extraordinary. Even in her last months, her blue eyes sparkled, her smile was nourishing and she exuded love and the love of Jesus to all around her. She was special beyond words, a woman of deep faith, a servant of the Lord and one who demonstrated throughout her life what it looks like to love God and love others. She was a truly awesome wife and partner to my grandfather. She saved his life, made life special for him and those who came after him and made that farm in West Virginia “almost heaven” to all who came. The love that she shared with so many will be sorely missed but will be a lasting legacy for family and friends. Our hope is she is healed, joyous and in no pain and that one day we will be able to hug and laugh and be together again in the presence of the one she represented so well.
    May God and the Spirit of Jesus be with you and your families and comfort you with the loving memory of your dear mother, Peggy Mac–Bobby & Ethel

  3. I’m grateful to my dear college friend, Noel, for introducing me to Peggy Mac. What a privilege it is to have shared wonderful meals and life on the farm with Peggy Mac and Gandy! Her warm welcome, radiant smile, joyful spirit, gracious hospitality, and visible faith lingered long after we had returned to college and graduated. (I even heard about her courage and strength a few weeks ago when I saw Noel and Jeff in NC.)
    I wish I could join you to celebrate her life and hug so many of you that have loved her for so long. I look forward to rejoicing with her and you in the wonderful presence of our Heavenly Father.
    I’m praying your sadness and loss will be softened with meaningful memories of life shared together, especially over the upcoming holidays.

  4. Peggy Mac was a dear, sweet lady that was loved by all. I have many memories of her and Tinker and Louisa and the boys (I was your babysitter after all!) I didn’t know Bob Newell but all the Amblers did and they loved him and Peggy Mac. She will be missed but she had a wonderful life and was well loved!

  5. Louisa & family,
    I so enjoyed speaking with Peggy Mac the Sundays she was able to come to church. She was a sweet lady & will b missed by so many. Love & prayers for all of you.
    Becky Arnold

  6. Louisa and family,
    We are sorry for the loss of your mom. Praying the Lord will give you comfort in your loss.
    Buck & Debbie Tyree

  7. This was a beautifully written obituary. I loved picturing the descriptions as those are favorite memories of all who were priviledged to live them!
    Peggy Mac embodied Amazing Grace, seasoned with her own irrepressible laughter and sense of humor. She gave 100% with enthusiasm and gratitude. I really can’t believe I got to have her as my grandmother.
    Grateful doesn’t come close.
    Our faith is a blessed hope, when the loss is immeasurable, like this.
    But won’t our reunion be wonderful!
    God bless you especially; David, Joe & Louisa, and your precious families. Godspeed.

  8. Louisa, sorry for your loss. I am glad you were able to spend time with her. I know she will be missed but pray you will find comfort in knowing she is with her savior.

  9. My Mom was my dearest and best friend , mentor , and role model. She taught me so much about life , and being a loving person. We shared many happy moments as mother and daughter. It was a gift from God to be with her these past few years helping to care for her . I will miss her greatly . Yet I am thankful she is now whole with Jesus her saviour in heaven and not sick any more . I love you Mom , your Louisa

  10. So sad to hear this. Peggy Mac was a very sweet and wonderful lady. I really enjoyed spending time with her when I was cleaning for her. We always had some good talks and times together. May God be with her family and comfort them through this time.

  11. Mac is in Heaven with no pain and able to walk again!

    Praise the Lord for the best grandmother I could of ever asked for.

    Truly so blessed to share so many memories with such a wonderful woman.

    I can’t wait to see you again some day Mac!!!

  12. Louisa and family,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. She was a wonderful and loving person
    and always so friendly at the Weight Watchers meetings in Romney. She was missed
    at the meetings she was not able to attend recently.
    I pray that God will strengthen and comfort your family in the difficult days ahead.
    Love and prayers,
    Margaret Kesner

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