Margaret D. “Peggy” Kilgarriff, from Walpole, MA, and formerly of Westwood, MA, passed away peacefully June 11, 2023, in the presence of family, following a 2+ year battle with cancer. Peggy was born on Inishmore, Aran Islands, Co. Galway, Ireland, one of 8 children born to Julia (Flaherty) and Stephen Dirrane. “Maggie Stephen” left the island at a young age and eventually touched down in Boston. For many years Peggy operated her own home elder care business, taking great care of her clients, many of whom grew to love her.
Where do you start in describing Peggy? Those that knew her, know it’s a bucket-full of stuff, a lot of it pretty darn funny.
First, family. Family was everything to Peggy and she took immense pride when her son, Tom, married Tara (Haskell), whom she loved and adored like a daughter. Her greatest joys in life were her 3 grandkids: Seamus, Tommy and Molly. Her grandchildren could do no wrong and were never deserving of punishment, regardless of the infraction. Though she may not have known all the rules, “Gaga” (because Seamus just could not pronounce “Grandma”) loved attending the kids’ sporting events, be it in a rink, gym or walking across the outfield at Morrison Field in the middle of a Little League Championship game with “will the lady in blue please get off the field” booming across the loud speakers. Gaga was unfailingly generous to all, and especially so to Seamus, Tommy and Molly. She would always give them a few bucks (or more) to get an ice cream or “buy something for yourself.” Above all, Gaga adored everything about her grandkids and showered them with unconditional love at all times.
Despite being slight in stature, Peggy continually exhibited Herculean feats of strength over the years, inexplicably moving heavy furniture – and an organ! – by herself not only from room to room but from floor to floor (all of which can be corroborated by Tom’s buddies). Even with her furniture-moving days behind her, her remarkable inner strength was on full display over the past 2½ years as she battled lung cancer (beating COVID not once, but twice). And everyone who knew Peggy grew an appreciation for her world-class candor – you never had to wonder what Peggy was thinking. Of course, this provided us all a lot of laughs for many years – and maybe an occasional holding of breath – but also set the example of being genuine and real – a wonderful life lesson and gift she left to many of us.
Peggy didn’t get back to Ireland often but she called home every week, catching up with her brother Padraic (and sister-in-law Norah) and her sister Bridie. She loved these conversations to hear what everybody was up to and how everyone was doing. Among many others, her goddaughter Maureen (Mulkern) Nardiello and her nephew Padraic Jr. always called Peggy to chat and see how she was doing.
Peggy’s legacy includes her tremendous kindness, incredible generosity, enormous strength and work ethic, but most importantly she showed us how to love one another and outwardly show all of that love every day. These beautiful gifts will stay with her grandchildren forever.
Peggy leaves behind her son, Thomas J. Kilgarriff III and his wife Tara of Westwood, 3 grandchildren who adored her, Seamus Patrick (22), Thomas Joseph IV (20) and Molly Catherine Kilgarriff (17). Also survived by her sister Bridie Lundon of Galway, Ireland, her brother Padraic Dirrane (Norah) from Bungowla, Inishmore, and was the former wife of Thomas J. Kilgarriff of Marshfield.
Please join us for a Celebration of Life (casual attire) on Thursday, August 10, 2023, from 6-9pm at Norfolk Golf Club (downstairs area), 166 East St, Westwood, MA 02090.