Peggy Ballinger

Obituary of Peggy Ann Ballinger

Peggy Ann Ballinger, from New Bern, North Carolina, passed away on August 29, 2021 at the age of 85. She was the eldest of three. Her farming parents grew everything from pecans, to strawberries, to the highest bidded tobacco in their region. She was the only of the three that worked the fields tirelessly, picked berries until her fingertips bled. She so very looked forward to getting dressed up in clothes her mother made, sitting beside her father in his truck, just the two of them, and riding into town to the sale barn, where he would auction off his popular tobacco. It was the day where all their hard work paid off. He would treat her to a pop & candy and let her pick out the fabric she wanted for when her mother would make her next fancy outfit for the future town appearance. All while attending school, and as she proudly described, burning the midnight oil studying, where twice she was advanced to the next higher grade, placing her at 16 when she graduated top of her class. Her summers growing up consisted of spending time at Gatlin Beach, Emerald Beach, and Atlantic beach.

 

By the time she was old enough to leave home, Peggy ran as fast as she could to the United States Navy, where she completed all her drills and was advanced to the Air Force. She would tell stories about working in the air control towers, things she saw, that she was sworn to not tell anyone. She was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. This is when her wings began to manifest. From using fake IDs to getting into the bars and meeting so many new people, Peggy never met a stranger. This is where she met her husband who was stationed there as a Marine. Not long after, they got married, began to create their own family, and traveled across America to wherever he was stationed as he served in the Korea War and Vietnam War. Although he was off deployed in wars, she was embedded with hard work ethic and always worked, usually restaurants and once at a TV station. Their marriage began to crumble when he returned from Vietnam. In that era, women didn't have rights to have a bank account or even employment unless they were married. Therefore, divorce was not an option.

 

Not until the late 70s. When all the girls were of age and out of the house, Peggy divorced her husband and began her next chapter in life. It was her own this time. She traveled, worked wherever she went, always left a trail of good deeds and friendships behind. She lived honest and free. She then began to work for the Bar Pilots Association, and that is where her utmost graciousness of any place of employment was performed. She was honored to be a part of that family and industry. As she aged, her favorite place was St. George Island in Florida. She would take both her Prancer pups there several times a year. The story on her two mini-Schnauzers, one had passed away, she purchased another identical one and humorously named it the same.

 

After Hurricane Katrina, Peggy’s granddaughter, Crystal, stayed with her momentarily, and that is where she began to discover the first signs of Alzheimer’s. She was finally diagnosed in 2011. She was left in her granddaughter’s care in 2013. From 2014, Crystal began to treat her holistically, where Peggy’s life became more comfortable and extended through quality care. Throughout her 16 years with the disease, she rarely became combative or not pleasant. That alone speaks volumes of her heart. She was pure and good. Through it all, she lived a very fulfilling life, and it was hers. On the 29th of August, right after midnight, she took her last breath, in her bed, comfortable, surrounded by her loved ones after they all said goodbye. She will always be remembered as Little ‘ol Peggy Sue.

 

Peggy was laid to rest in the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery with military honors.  Memories and condolences may be expressed at www.AudubonFuneralHome.com

 

Share Your Memory of
Peggy