Margaret Joan Blagys completed a peaceful transition to the next life on Sunday after ninety years well spent in this earthly existence. She is predeceased by her older brother and his wife, William and Marie Walker Blagys; her parents William and Madge Hollely Blagys; two first cousins, John Blagys and Jim Magahern; and one nephew-in-law, Ed Stehle. She leaves behind a first cousin; Cal Blagys and his family; many friends; and six beloved nieces and nephews, David, Jean, Peter, Philip, Bill, and Marie; their spouses; and a pack of grand-nieces and nephews, as well as a handful of great-grand-nieces and nephews. She was one of a kind, and she will be dearly missed.
The family would like to thank the staff at St Vincent’s Medical Center for all the special attention Peg received there over the last year; and also the Ludlowe Center for Health and Rehabilitation for the excellent care they gave Peg in her last days.
The family will be holding a private service.
Peggy was born and raised in Black Rock, in the family homestead at 258 Balmforth Street. She attended Black Rock School, Bassick High School, and in her youth (when she wasn’t keeping her older brother busy looking out for her) she would spend time working in her grandfather’s florist shop, John Blagys & Son Florist. Peg went away to Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, graduating with honors in 1952. After living and working for a short period of time in New York City (long enough to become a lifelong Brooklyn Dodger fan – yes, she knew that they moved to LA, but she never quite accepted it), she returned to spend her life in Black Rock as a successful businesswoman and full-time aunt, and it is this latter role for which she is most fondly remembered.
Aunt Peg was a fixture at 258 Balmforth and a significant part of the lives of her two nieces and four nephews growing up there. She was there for every holiday, birthday, graduation, first communion, confirmation, baptism (she was godmother for half of them), and many Sunday dinners in between. She was the only babysitter who ever stepped foot in 258 in those years(probably the only one parents Bill and Marie could find willing to take on the challenge) and of course that meant that she was also the babysitter for half of the neighborhood that gathered in that living room on Saturday evenings, when the parents escaped for a well deserved dinner out. Aunt Peg would lie on the living room couch, smoking Salems, drinking Tab, and readingmurder mysteries whilst her nieces, nephews, and neighborhood kids convened to watch Adam-12, Get Smart, and other classics. She may not have ever noticed how many kids were in that living room. (if any of you Mainiero’s or Coes, or others are suffering any long term effects of the exposure to second hand smoke, well as far as we’re concerned Aunt Peg took that liability with her to the next world, so you’ll have to take it up with her there). Naturally, Aunt Peg shone at Christmas. The six siblings would anxiously await her arrival on Christmas afternoon when she would appear with a literal trunk-full of presents (equal to or greater than the load that Santa had brought). And of course, Aunt Peg was always a big part of the family summer trips to Cape May (which she helped to finance).
Her nieces and nephews all have their own individual, special memories of their Aunt Peg. In 1961, for his 8th birthday, she took nephew Dave on a train ride to NYC for a Horn and Hardartlunch and his first big league game at Yankee Stadium. A few years later she brought him to the dedication of Shea Stadium, which probably accounts for the fact that he’s been an insufferable Mets fan ever since. Jean has fond memories of going on vacation to the Castle Inn and Dock’nDine restaurant in Old Saybrook with her aunt. In 1967 she took nephew Peter to see Joe Namathcome to Bridgeport as the Jets played the Pats in an exhibition game at Kennedy Stadium, and six years later she got Pete his first job in the print shop at Trendex in Westport. Of Phil’s many memories of his aunt, his warmest are of her wonderful sense of humor, undimmed in her later years. The best example was from a recent visit by Aunt Peg to his house; when asked if she wanted to get closer to the fireplace to warm up, she responded to Phil, “Well if you just keep talking, your hot air will warm me up.” Whilst nephew Bill fondly remembers Aunt Peg taking him and Phil to Margate, New Jersey for a summer vacation, he also remembers his aunt oftenreminding him how heavy he was as a baby, especially since, as his godmother, she had to hold him throughout the entire christening. And Aunt Peg took youngest niece Marie on her very first trip to New York City in 1978 to see the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes and the Statue of Liberty, impressing Marie with her skills at navigating the big city as if she was a native.
As her nieces and nephews reached adulthood, and no longer needed their Aunt Peg’s help as much, she found other things to take up her time. She continued to show up on Christmas, this time with a trunk full of presents for the great nieces and nephews (a daunting task given there were even more of this second generation of nieces and nephews than the first). Living at home, she became the primary care taker for her mother, enabling her to be able to live in her own home to the age of 98. When her brother passed away she continued to check up on her sister-in-law, Marie, even if only for something so simple as to bring her a book of stamps. She became a fixture at the Bridgeport Bluefish games where she was an important part of the booster club.She became known and loved throughout Black Rock and beyond. Her unmistakable, universally recognized voice, and her flair for the most eye-catching in bright attire, brought life to any room she entered, rolling more than a few eyes along the way.
In later years her nieces and nephews did what they could to return all that she had done for them, watching out for her as best they could in her twilight years. None were more important in this respect than niece Marie who deserves all sorts of special love and unending appreciation for everything that she did for her Aunt, proving Aunt Peg right when she said, “The boys are okay, but Marie gets things done.”
If there is a special place that all of the best Aunts go after this world, you can be sure that’s where Aunt Peg is. If any of you other Aunts end up in that place, be warned that you will hear her before you see her. We would often joke about her loud voice and sometimes seemingly overzealous, perhaps endless chatter, but we know now that we will miss it.
And the rest is silence.
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