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Obituary Stories

Norwin teacher established educational legacy

Debra Erdley
| Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Peg Huttenhower was attending the University of Pittsburgh in the years following World War II when her mother and her father's cousin Charlotte decided the pretty coed just had to meet a young veteran who was attending college on the GI Bill.

So Charlotte gave James Huttenhower a coat to deliver to Peg.

The two clicked. The rest is history, family history.

In a story line that could have been taken from one of the old-fashioned musicals Peg Huttenhower loved, the two became teachers, were married, had two sons, two daughters and a union that endured for 61 years until Mr. Huttenhower's death in 2013.

Margaret U. “Peg” Huttenhower, of Ligonier, died Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in St. Anne Home, Greensburg. She was 87.

A daughter of the late Edward R. and Margaret Jones Urch, Mrs. Huttenhower was born Aug. 21, 1930, in Greensburg and grew up in Ligonier.

After graduating from Pitt, which she attended on a full scholarship, she became an elementary teacher and taught in the Norwin School District for more than 30 years.

With two teachers for parents, the Huttenhower offspring spent summers traveling with their parents to educational destinations including Williamsburg, Sturbridge Village, Monticello and Plymouth Rock, among others. The family later forged a strong link with New England and regularly vacationed in a cottage near the Maine coast after Mrs. Huttenhower fell in love with the area.

Her oldest son, Edward Huttenhower of Hope Valley, R.I., remembers attending the Norwin schools when his father was a teacher at Norwin High School and his mother was at the elementary school.

“They would chaperone my junior high dances together. You couldn't get away with anything with them as chaperones,” he said.

He said his mother passed on her love of old musicals to his daughter and often took her to plays at Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown.

Edward and his youngest sister, Margaret “Mimsie” Blivins, of Jeannette, said their parents had very high expectations for their children, insisted they always did their best and made sure they all graduated from college.

Blivins followed her parents and became a teacher.

At least two of Mrs. Huttenhower's grandchildren are carrying the tradition on to a fourth generation. Blivins said her youngest daughter just graduated from Penn State with an education degree, while her brother Edward's son is on the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Blivins said her mother loved to work on embroidery, read voraciously and was a great fan of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” often shouting out answers before contestants on the shows.

In addition to Margaret and Edward, Mrs. Huttenhower is survived by a daughter, Susan Redwing, of Bath, Maine, and a son, James. (Phillip Tommey) Huttenhower, of Chicago; five grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the J. Paul McCracken Funeral Chapel Inc., 144 E. Main St., Ligonier. A service to celebrate Peg's life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Covenant Presbyterian Church, with her pastor, the Rev. Robert D. Cummings, officiating. Interment will follow in Ligonier Valley Cemetery.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com or via Twitter @deberdley_trib

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