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Waltham, MA 02453
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“When I think of Aunt Margaret I think of the annual handmade Christmas cards she sent to us, the beautiful quilt, stitched piece by piece, that my...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Carrie Casey - Tyngsborough, MA

“We have fond memories of spending time with "Aunt Margaret" during our childhood years when she would take the train out to Olympia with her sister...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Jennifer Bowman - Olympia, WA

“We were blessed to know the woman we affectionately called Aunt Margie. She was always very energetic, engaging, and giving. We still have all the...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Gail, Taylor, and Brogan Wessell - MA


Mary Marguerite Beatrice (Belliveau) Patterson, known as Peggy or Aunt Margie to friends and family, passed away on February 22, at Mount Auburn Hospital from pneumonia. She was 88 years young, a bright and zippy octogenarian.

Peggy was born on May 14, 1924, the daughter of Abel and Beatrice (Cormier) Belliveau of Waltham. She was the first Belliveau child to be born in America; her sisters Hope and Christine, and brother Abel, were born in New Brunswick, Canada.

Peggy attended Ecole St. Pierre, a French parochial school in her early years, and attended Waltham High School. She regretted that she did not graduate from high school. Typical of the time and her family's circumstances, however, her paycheck was needed and she went to work. In the l940's, the dominant belief was that girls were going to get married and have children. "I guess they figured you didn't need a diploma to show you how to fold a diaper," commented Peggy.

Her nimble fingers and great skill at delicate assembly work kept her in steady employment. At the start of her working life, Peggy and her older sister Hope assembled gauges at B.C. Ames. Peggy was employed in similar factory work for the duration of her working years.

Her mother Beatrice instructed Peggy and her sisters in the wifely arts of crochet, embroidery, cooking, dressmaking, knitting, and sewing for the home. Peggy was an apt pupil, and throughout her life, kept her hands very busy at all of these learned skills. Peggy made many of her own clothes, and was always fashionably turned out.

At a dance in her twenties, she met a handsome Navy man, Ernest "Pat" Patterson of Medford. He was smitten with this pretty young woman, and they were married in September, 1949. They lived in Arlington, then Belmont. They missed celebrating their golden anniversary by three years, when Pat died in 1992. Peggy was a resident of Carleton-Willard Village in Bedford, moving there from Belmont some years after his death.

Peggy was a gifted quilter, with an unerring eye for color and design. Besides large quilts for bed covers, she created many exquisite wall hangings and worked on a smaller scale in her later years, producing delicate pieced designs for holiday greeting cards. As proof of her skill, these cards are cherished by family and friends who received them, and are often framed and displayed.

She made Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for friends and family, and also sold them at the Middle Store in Cambridge. Asked once how many she had made over the years, she said, "…more than I can count."

In her twenties, Peggy was interested in flying. She never earned her pilot's license, but, in her last years, told a niece that she wished she had continued with her flight instruction.

Peggy loved people, but had an especial affection for children and pets. She did not have children of her own, but found plenty of them in her long life to love. Children were naturally drawn to Peggy, since she was diminutive in stature and so much fun to be around. Over the years, she was more playmate than grownup to many nieces and nephews (both biological and adopted), and their little friends.

She flew kites, played an energetic game of jelly ball in the street, hiked over rough trails and smooth, loved to pick blueberries, and was game for just about any activity suggested by children.

She was patient and kind to animals, and had a knack for training them. She and Pat had a cat named Lisa and a German shepherd named Pepzie. Peggy was devoted to her pets, and the feeling was mutual. She had trained Pepzie to obey an extensive list of commands, the dog eager to comply. Sometimes Pepzie would try to talk Peggy out of another dog biscuit, and Peggy would remind him that she had already given him one, and he had hidden it on the stairs. The dog would hang his head guiltily, and go and retrieve the biscuit.

Peggy was a good and generous friend; loved Christmas and all its attendant activity; was a graceful dancer; enjoyed outdoor gardening and her indoor plants (many of which she had rescued from near-death at the hands of those with no green thumb); knitted sweaters for friends and family, and, in her later years, when macular degeneration cruelly forced her to give up intricate work, knitted over 200 large custom-monogrammed Christmas stockings. She collected stamps, collectibles, and friends and admirers. She laughed easily and often, loved a good joke, and was an amusing storyteller. At Carleton-Willard, she could be found at bingo and card games, and was always on the move.

Peggy had energy to spare, and was often compared to the Energizer bunny; but she always made the bunny look like he was standing still. Her cheerful enthusiasm and infectious laugh will be missed, as will her willingness to do for others.

Peggy was predeceased by her husband Pat, her sisters Hope Chiasson and Christine Boudreau, and her brother, Abel Belliveau. She is survived by sisters-in-law Joan Patterson of Peabody and Esther Belliveau of Tewksbury, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends, who cherished this small but very lively woman.

Family and friends will honor and remember Peggy's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Thursday, February 28th, from 4 to 8 p.m. and again at 10 am on Friday, followed by the funeral service at 11:00. All are invited to speak at the service. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham.