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It is with both sadness and joy that we announce the passing of Margaret Louise Matuella otherwise known as Peggy to her family and Peggs to her newest friends. On March 19, 2018 at the age of 77, the petite soft spoken mother of three, grandmother to twelve, great grandmother to 5 and wife to only one, left this life peacefully and entered into the kingdom of heaven to be reunited with the love of her life whom she married 57 years ago. Her life was defined by the gentleness of her love that she shared with her family.
Her memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 2:30 PM located at the Boca Raton Mausoleum (451 SW 4th Avenue, Boca Raton, Florida 33432) with the support of Glick Family Funeral Home.
Peggy is survived by her three children and their families: Annette Harmer, her husband Donald and their 3 children- Zachary, Nicholas and Alyssa; Joe Matuella and his 4 children, Hope, Joe-Joe, Luke and Mia; Michelle (Matuella) Handin and her husband Benjamin with their 5 children, Autumn, Sawyer, Monique Anderson (and her 4 children), Alex Anderson and Amanda Collins (and her son). Peggy is also survived by her siblings – Marianne Whitehurst and her husband Bob, Janet Janos and Frank, Pat Miller, Jean Perla, and Robert Noll.
Peggy is predeceased by her husband Joseph Matuella, her Parents Mary (Hanlon) and Peter Noll, her brother Duane and her younger sister Bernadette.
While it is sad for those who say goodbye, we know she has been welcomed by her Savior and is now quietly and ever so gently holding her husband’s hand as they walk together through the next life.
But like every love story, this has its humble beginnings.
Born at the tail end of the Great Depression on December 29, 1940, to Mary (Hanlon) a seamstress and peter Noll a farmer and all around handyman in Munster, Pennsylvania, Peggy was the sixth of eight children, six of whom were girls. In her earliest days the family lived on their farm just outside of Cresson, Pennsylvania. It was a time of struggle for all, but this playful family managed to find joy any way they could including their love of music. Everyone either played an instrument or simply sang along. Peggy’s gift was singing. While attending Catholic school and she joined the choir and continued singing into her 40s. Due to economic forces, the family was forced to move in search of work ending up in Absecon, New Jersey. Here she would continue singing in Catholic School and eventually graduate Holy Spirit High School in 1958.
Peggy loved to learn and worked her way through secretarial school where she learned and mastered bookkeeping, typing and shorthand. At the age of 20, while working as a secretary, the man of her dreams walked in to apply for a job straight out of college. She was struck by how handsome this young man was and little did she know that she would spend every available minute with him for the next 55 years. After hardly no time at all mustering his courage to go past her stunning beauty and Joseph Matuella asked her out on a date. Each day after he would bring an extra sandwich to work to share with her at lunch. Eight short inseparable months later they were married on September 16, 1961. They settled into the Atlantic City area and started their family. Exactly eleven months to the day from their wedding, their first child, Annette was born. 2 years later, along came a son, Joe and then 3 years more - Michelle. Their family was complete. Peggy happily stayed home to care for her family. Her husband worked hard at building a career so she took her roll seriously. It was the only way her husband could come home and have quality time with his family. Peggy made it all seem so easy. She could fill a room with her ebullient voice, singing her favorite songs, as she went about her way. Her home was decorated beautifully (each of the 14 moves), often making her own drapery, curtains, and pillows to accent a room. Her dining room table was dressed daily as if in a 5-star restaurant. And oh, how she loved to cook; a gourmet cook in her own right. Reading the best books of the time to get the best recipes. Also, as it was the age of glamour and Peggy was a spendthrift, she kept up with the times through her own seamstress skills, which she learned from her mother. She stayed in fashion by making her own outfits, taking great pride in her appearance. For many years, she would also sew, knit or crochet dresses and bonnet for the girls to look their Sunday best. Their Sunday best often meant the family heading to the boardwalk for a stroll, where Peggy and her husband held hands with their kids in tow.
If you didn’t know her you would have thought she was the perfect old fashioned mother. A woman who “knew her place.” Au contraire! While not political, she simply believed that men and woman were equal. A woman could choose to go to work or stay at home. It was just a choice. A woman could be treated like a woman and still command respect. It was all about mutual respect and that is how she lived. Rarely speaking directly to it, but living it with her husband, participating in every decision, managing the finances, and caring for her family.
Through the years, as the children grew, Peggy’s house was the center of their children’s lives with hordes of children running through the house making messes everywhere. She didn’t mind. She was always happy to have her home be the center of the neighborhood knowing her kids were safe. When her husband was home from work and the house was full of kids running in and out of the house, Peggy would often be found sitting in Joe’s lap with her arm around his shoulder where only their love for each other shined through. And the neighborhood kids always took notice of how the two loved each other.
It was a quiet gentle love. Filled with respect and caring. If you were to describe the love she had for her husband it would be the same way anyone would describe Peggy. Her love for her husband was quiet, gentle and unquestionably permanent. Their life was filled with shared family moments and long walks on the beach, hand in hand. In later years, when they couldn’t walk so far they opted for their favorite bench on the beach in lighthouse point. Quietly holding hands and looking out over the ocean. They enjoyed dining out and quietly sharing their time alone. All Peggy wanted was to be with her husband and he with her. He made her world safe and secure.
As the children got older and started school, Peggy got restless and wanted to work. For years she had already been her husband’s best kept secret in advancing his career by helping him audit or do the books when he struggled to get it done. She was brilliant and excelled in many things, so it was easy for her husband to give her a job as a bookkeeper at whatever hotel he was managing. He cherished that she could work with him and be close throughout the day.
As time marched on, the kids grew, college and careers scattered family, but Peggy and Joe grew closer. Dealing with all that life had to throw at them. No matter how complex the problem, they had each other. You could say, life may have delivered some unfair challenges their way, but if you truly knew Peggy and Joe, you would know that the only thing that mattered was that they were together… Taking care of each other into their final days. In the end, Peggy’s arthritis crippled her hands to where her husband would brush her hair daily and even tie her shoes, but the one thing that Peggy wouldn’t give up was cutting her husband’s hair, which she managed to do right up until his passing. One time when asked about what she does with her days after the kids had long since grown up, she responded in her gentle whispering voice with her eyes wide open, “Gee, I don’t know… I go where (Joe) wants to take me,” which was perfect, because her husband only wanted to take her where she wanted to go.
Peggy, to her family was loving, gentle, funny and brilliant. She was a spark of life, filled with joy when surrounded by family, calling herself “Dynomite,” because she came in a small but powerful package. Regardless of any personal challenges whether health or other, she flawlessly cared for her husband and children forever earning the titles, “Wife” and “Mother.”
Peggy will be forever missed and forever loved.
The family wishes to thank the following:
The staff at Pacifico
The staff at the Alzheimer’s Community Care
Glick Family Funeral Home
Fritz Miner and Staff @ Boca Raton Mausoleum