Margaret Kennedy Johnstone passed away peacefully from natural causes on April I l, 2020 at her home in Chestertown, Maryland surrounded by her family. Peggy was 95 years old. The second of five children, she was born at Rosecroft St. Mary’s City, Maryland on September 29, 1924 to Laura Cecilia Hebb and John Wayles Kennedy. Her father passed away when Peggy was a young and her mother later remarried Maryland State Senator Joseph Allen Coad. She attended Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, George Washington University both in Washington, D.C., and the University of Mexico, Mexico, City. Peggy had a distinguished and rewarding career with the State Department in the Foreign Service working in the Displaced Persons Service Bureau in Hamburg, Germany, where she worked to reunite displaced families after World War Il. It was in Germany where she met Gene, her husband of 56 years.
Peggy and Gene shared a passion for gardening, historic restoration and preservation. In the early 1960’s, they purchased and restored a Victorian home in St. Mary’s County, where they lived until 1976. The family then moved to Chestertown, and together with the help of their children restored the Wallis-Wickes House at 102 High Street, where they lived until 2005. In their 80’s, and still cultivating their passion for restoration and gardening, they purchased and restored 105-107 South Mill Street. Peggy was always active and had many interests, including traveling, reading, community service, and crabbing. She was an active member in the Garden Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, Monticello Association, Kent County Historical Society, and Questers. She was especially proud of her Maryland heritage and greatly appreciated its history and food. Peggy had a great fondness for collecting, particularly antiques, and in her retirement, she and three close friends founded Bittersweet, a local antique store. Peggy had a love for nature and was entertained daily by the birds and squirrels in her garden, and always welcomed the seasonal flowers.
Peggy is survived by her seven children, eighteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren: Hall and Betsy Johnstone, Edenton, NC and their sons Cole (Ashlea) and Lex (Michelle); Laura and John Wilson, Worton, MD and their children, Wayles (James), Nate (Jamie), Garth and Jack; Virginia Johnstone, Chestertown, NID and her children, Peter, Tom (Jamie), Katherine (Jacob) and Margaret; Margaret and Patrick Wilson, La Jolla, CA and their sons, Chaz and Hall; Jane Johnstone, San Francisco, CA, and her daughter Griffn; Nan and Bill Norris, Chestertown, MD, and their children Miles and Hayley; and Rebecca Appleton, Chestertown, MD and her daughters, Eli4 Amanda and Bellamy. Peggy is survived by her older brother John Wayles Kennedy and his wife Dina, Boca Raton, FL. Her husband Eugene Hall Johnstone preceded her in death in August 2010.
Due to state restrictions associated with COVID-19, a celebration of life will be scheduled when it is safe to gather together to honor Peggy’s life. Interment will at The Monticello Graveyard in Charlottesville, VA.
The family expresses a special thank you to her caregivers, Jennifer Kaczmarczyk, Shirley Foster and Julie Haynes for their care and support.