Cover photo for Margaret "Peggy" Piper Hegel's Obituary
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1930 Margaret "peggy" 2021

Margaret "Peggy" Piper Hegel

July 23, 1930 — May 10, 2021

Retired respected Suzuki piano teacher, Peggy Hegel, died on May 10, 2021 after a late-life onset of ALS. Peggy’s piano teaching career began when unbeknownst to her, her second-grade daughter announced during Show-and-Tell “My mother will teach piano lessons to anyone who wants them!” Peggy retired at 80, forty-eight years later. Peggy’s Suzuki piano studio was a family affair with frequent events celebrating students’ musical accomplishments. Many of Peggy’s students attended Blue Lake Summer Music Camp where they were known as “Peg’s Perky Pianists.” Often students and their parents became extended family to Peggy and her husband of 67 years, Bob. Peggy taught at Kalamazoo College Music Center and maintained a private studio. She was active in both the Kalamazoo Area Music Teachers Association (KAMTA) and the state-level Michigan Music Teachers Association (MMTA). One of her proudest accomplishments was chairing the committee that revised the MMTA handbook of integrated curriculum. Peggy appreciated living in Kalamazoo and enjoyed attending KSO concerts, Gilmore Festival events and the "Boys’ Nationals" every August. Peggy and Bob were initially members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church and later the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo. Peggy was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood for close to 70 years, and a stalwart member of the Westnedge Walking Women from her beloved Westnedge Hill neighborhood. Peggy was born in 1930 in Iowa, moved to Boulder, CO as a teenager, and graduated from the University of Colorado. In 1952, while working at a vacation resort in Colorado, she met Bob Hegel. They hiked in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness all summer and married the following August. Peggy is survived by her brother Bruce Piper (Peaches), daughters Anne (James LaRonde) and Susan (Christopher Chaffee) and two grandchildren (Jesse Giordano-Irvin and Madelaine LaRonde). Following Peggy's wishes, her body has been donated to the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Her ashes will be scattered at the family cabin in Colorado. Donations honoring Peggy may be made to: Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, 901 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49001, Ministry With Community, 500 North Edwards St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007, or the Susan Mast ALS Foundation, 2500 Waldorf Ct., Grand Rapids, MI 49544. Arrangements by Redmond Funeral Home, Kalamazoo. www.redmondfuneralhomes.net
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