November 8, 1933 - May 15, 2018
Margaret “Peggy” Olsson died peacefully Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at the age of 84. She was born Margaret Malette Griffith in Rochester, New York, on November 8, 1933. Her parents were Henry Watson Griffith and Agnes Stuart McLouth of Palmyra, New York. Mrs. Olsson attended school in Palmyra and the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1954 and married John P. Olsson of Kansas in 1956. They lived in Jackson Heights, New York, Climax, Colorado, Wilton, Connecticut , Bethesda, Maryland, Barrington Hills, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas.
She is survived by her beloved husband of 62 years, John, and their 5 children, Elizabeth, Kristin and her husband, James Stover, Mary, Jennifer, and John E. T. and his wife, Marisa, as well as by 3 grandchildren, Margaret Berry, John Berry, and Annabeth Olsson; and a sister, Dr. Agnes E. Griffith of Palmyra, New York. Her parents and sisters Mary Meyer and Carolyn Hall preceded her in death.
Mrs. Olsson received an MLS from Texas Woman’s University, served as a reference librarian at UT Dallas for 17 years, and was the first recipient of the McLemore Library Excellence Award. She was an active member of the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, serving as a Stephen Minister and a volunteer teacher at Vickery Meadows.
A devoted wife and stellar mother, she mastered a wide range of skills and interests — from research to gardening, political organizing, editing, sewing, March Madness, knitting, managing schedules, baking, and even soccer coaching — as the occasion (and her family) demanded. Her dedication, energy, and dependability were so unswerving, it was hard not to take them for granted.
While the Olssons moved to Dallas in 1977, she never forgot her roots and was known to regale her family, friends, and even new acquaintances with the familiar refrain “I’m from upstate New York . . .” She was a voracious reader who appreciated a broad array of books, from mysteries and literature to history and whatever topics her engagement with world events (and the PBS NewsHour) led her to pursue. Aside from reading and her family, she enjoyed the daily crossword puzzle, her cats, napping, old movies on TCM, and music, particularly popular songs from her childhood in the 40s. Even while dealing with her later illnesses, she had a beautiful smile and an enduring spirit that will never be forgotten.
A Memorial service will be held Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 2:00pm at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, 9800 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75230.
Contributions in celebration of Peggy’s life may be made to the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Foundation, Planned Living Assistance Network of North Texas, and Wellesley College, MA.
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