August 22, 1955 — May 11, 2019
Peggy was born to Gerald and Gertrude Cunningham in Rochester, Minnesota. She was the youngest of four siblings that included William James Cunningham, Mary Catherine Cunningham (Serdar), and Patrick Joseph Cunningham. She often enjoyed sharing her childhood story of being raised in a jail, literally, as her father was the Sheriff of Olmsted County for over 24 years.
Following her graduation from high school in 1973, she moved to Minneapolis to study at the university where she earned a BA Degree in Anthropology. Her travels soon took her to Boston, Massachusetts, where she fell in love with the city.
She found work in a local bank and continued to explore all that her newfound home had to offer. It was there she met her first husband, Brian Salem. They soon returned to Minneapolis where Peggy earned an Associate degree in Nursing from St. Mary's College.
Career opportunities led them to California where Peggy's newly minted nursing degree was quickly welcomed and put to good use at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, California.
After her first marriage ended in 1987, Peggy discovered the love of her life, Rich Williams. Peggy and Rich were inseparable. They shared a love of travel and wasted no time exploring many of California's iconic locales including the Napa Valley wine country where they were married in 1995.
Their search for a simpler, quieter life led them to Corvallis in 1998, where they have lived happily for over 20 years. Shortly after arriving in Corvallis, Peggy was invited to join a team of medical professionals who launched a business that became known as ThesIS. Her new position as a data manager allowed her to work from her home office.
Peggy was a tireless, passionate advocate for the humane treatment of all animals. She was dedicated to a pair of mini Dachshunds and Chihuahua mixes that she adored. She enjoyed spending spare time as a volunteer for the Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon, whose mission is to find a caring home for older dogs who had been given up or abandoned.
Peggy's diverse interests included Vedic Astrology, Numerology, Hypnotherapy (registered as a certified Hypnotherapist) and homeopathic medicine (also certified as a Homeo-Therapeutic Coach). In later years, she discovered a love of jewelry making and eventually created many lovely necklace and earring designs that she would give as gifts to family and friends. Peggy also developed an interest in genealogy which helped her build a family tree that traced her Irish (paternal) and Norwegian (maternal) lineage.
People who came to know her would often remark that “she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.” She was vivacious, irreverent, humble, authentic and especially kind. She was beauty and grace personified.
On May 11, 2019, she was released from the arms of her loving husband into the waiting arms of her heavenly hosts. We are extremely appreciative of the staff of Willamette Valley Hospice whose skilled, compassionate care was essential to easing her passing from metastatic breast cancer —at home — as she wished.
A private celebration of life will be held for family and friends in Cannon Beach, Oregon at an undisclosed time.