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 ~ www.abovems.com
Inquiries may be directed to Shaffer Funeral Home, 304-822-3511