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Margaret "Peg" Jean Arnold

Published On: Jul 24 2013 06:00:01 AM CDT

MADISON- Margaret “Peg” Jean Allen Arnold, age 64, of Madison, died on Sunday, July 21, 2013, at Agrace HospiceCare after almost two decades of battling cancer.

She was born on May 30, 1949, in DeKalb, Ill., to the late Roy and Vergene (Kirby) Allen. After the death of Vergene, Roy married Bly (Johnson) Allen, who raised Peg and her siblings. Peg graduated from DeKalb High School, received a BA from Colorado Teachers College in 1971, and received a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin in 1978. She married Stephen Arnold in 1971.

Peggy started her early teaching career at the Elgin Academy before spending 17 years as a counselor at Kaneland Elementary and High Schools. She left education because of health issues related to her cancer after finishing her career at District 94, in West Chicago, Ill. She relentlessly worked to improve the lives of children in school.

Peg was always politically active, and she distinguished herself early in life as the first female Class President at DeKalb High School. She served as a Shirley Chisholm delegate to the Colorado State Presidential Convention in 1972. She was elected to two terms as a School Board member for District 303 in St. Charles, Ill. Most recently, she was active in the protest movement surrounding collective bargaining in Wisconsin, attending rallies at the capitol for 32 consecutive days while undergoing chemotherapy. She also poured herself into the campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker, working with her husband to collect 1,350 signatures.

Peg was forever challenging, questioning, and investigating. She frequently contributed to public debate through public speaking and letter writing.

Every house she lived in was impacted by her creativity, design, and architectural inclinations. She was always at the center of the work with hammer or saw in hand. Gardening was another passion and her art form. Her beautiful perennial gardens garnered constant acclaim from neighbors and passersby.

Her family was central to her life. There are many great mothers on this earth but none better than Peg. She cherished spending time on Armour Lake swimming, watching sunsets, and listening to the loons with her family. She was very active in the outdoors throughout her life and valued activities like camping, skiing, hiking, traveling, and canoeing for their role in strengthening family bonds.

Genealogy was also a passion during the last decade of Peg’s life. She spent countless hours completing genealogical research on both sides of her family and as a result was reunited with relatives on her deceased mother’s side. She integrated her teaching talents with her genealogical research skills in a popular class taught through the UW-based PLATO organization. She touched many lives by connecting with her own family and by helping others uncover their family histories.

Peg will be dearly missed by her daughter, Kate (Dave Ullman); husband, Steve; stepmother, Bly Allen; brother, Michael (Christine) Allen; sister, Sarah (Theodore) Welter; and dear friend, Beverly Krosky; as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends who have poured out their love and support.

Our family would like to thank the skilled and compassionate doctors, nurses, and staff at the UW Carbone Cancer Center and Agrace HospiceCare, where Peg received the best treatment imaginable.

Funeral services will be held at the GUNDERSON FITCHBURG FUNERAL HOME, 2950 Chapel Valley Rd, Fitchburg, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. until the time of service on Saturday. A reception will follow at the Great Dane in Fitchburg from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Agrace HospiceCare.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Fitchburg
Funeral & Cremation Care
2950 Chapel Valley Road
(608) 442-5002

Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. until the time of service on Saturday.

Funeral services will be held at the GUNDERSON FITCHBURG FUNERAL HOME, 2950 Chapel Valley Rd, Fitchburg, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

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