Margaret “Peg” McLaughry Marshall Lehto died Friday, June 24, 2022, in Greenville, Pa. She was born March 21, 1940, forever proud to call James A. McLaughry and Margaret Miller McLaughry her parents. She grew up in a beautiful stone home hand-built by her parents in a neighborhood of friends and family in New Wilmington, Pa. Peg had three older siblings: Mary Beth, Jim and Bill McLaughry, who along with their parents, have finished their journey.
She graduated from Wilmington Area High School in 1958 then worked with a world-wide organization that later became the musical “Up With People,” promoting peace and reconciliation. The experience provided her an opportunity to travel extensively throughout the USA, Brazil and Peru singing in an internationally diverse chorus in multiple languages and acting with the group’s stage plays and films. She also worked with the group in theater, secretarial and culinary departments at their US headquarters on Mackinac Island, Mich. (now Mission Point Resort).
In 1961, she returned home to New Wilmington to be a student and a fifth-generation McLaughry to be involved with Westminster College and to also work in the family business, Quality Tools Corporation (Old Forge Tools), which was founded by her father in 1924.
In 1962, she married Jim Marshall and moved to Cazenovia, NY, where he was an electro-optical engineer with General Electric. Peg and Jim had two children – Bill Marshall and Laury Marshall -- with whom she treasured full-time motherhood and homemaking.
In l972, Peg and Jim moved back to New Wilmington and established OPTOK Labs. Along with this broadcast engineering and consulting business, she was employed with the US Postal Service as a rural mail carrier, a job she greatly enjoyed thanks to her patrons and fellow employees. After 18 years with the USPS, she retired in 2004 due to facial-deforming and life-changing cancer surgery.
Her life from age 40 to 70 was greatly enhanced by time spent running 5K, 10K and Half-Marathon races with dear friends in Second Wind Running Club in New Castle, Pa., as well as races with her adult children in Washington, DC, and Mackinac Island, Mich. Over the years, she also enjoyed baking, fine sewing and tailoring, singing, traveling, home decor, musical theater, public television programs, chocolate, ice cream, maple syrup and cheese soups and peanut butter soups that accommodated her handicap from cancer.
After Jim Marshall died in 1997, she married David W. Lehto, a Grove City College Mechanical Engineering graduate, in 2003. Dave and Peg lived on Dave’s dairy farm near New Wilmington for 13 years enjoying many miles of travel including their honeymoon to Finland and many trips covering the Arctic Circle and the Finnish border with Russia, as well as trips to Florida, Hawaii and many road trips across the US to visit children, grandchildren and cousins from Oregon to Massachusetts to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Peg always appreciated wonderful times with Dave’s large family of four daughters and spouses, six grandchildren and many cousins who made her feel so welcome into their circle.
In 2016, Peg and Dave moved to a independent home in The Colony Senior Community in Greenville, Pa., where they were extremely grateful for new friends and staff who provided for their care. Dave died Feb. 14, 2022.
Peg’s leaves behind to share love and laughter: her son Bill Marshall; daughter Laury Marshall; granddaughter Ainsley Parramore; sister-in-law Kate McLaughry; Dave’s family of daughters and grandchildren; her niece, nephews and their families; and beloved cousins, including Martha Meisinger Johnson of Greenville and her family. She thanks all of them as well as UPMC Pittsburgh: her life-saving surgeon Dr. Eugene Myers, as well as Dr. Duvvuri, Dr. Johnson, multiple prosthodontists, oncologists, radiologists and chemo nurses at UPMC Shadyside and Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, for their talents and care during her three bouts with cancer over 20 years. She also thanks the many local medical professionals in Hermitage and Greenville, PA.
Peg’s favorite quotes:
Eat dessert first, life is uncertain.
I did the best I knew then, and now I know better.
Fear is religion, courage is science.
It’s OK to not believe.
The family is making private arrangements for a celebration of life and hope you will join them in spreading peace, joy, love and humor in the world, as Peg did during her entire life. Arrangements have been entrusted to Loutzenhiser-Jordan Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 366-368 S. Main St., Greenville.
Rest In Peace, Peg. I was honored and humbled to get to know you a little earlier this year while writing a feature for Thiel College. I was told you liked to talk—- mamma Mia that was an understatement. I truly enjoyed learning a few things of your busy, jam packed long life, especially your courageous battle with cancer and supremely positive outlook on life. Condolences to your family, may they find comfort in your memories.
The Colony will certainly miss Peg. She was such an interesting person. I’ll always remember sitting across from her at one of the pot luck get together and having her say ‘you eat and I’ll talk’. My sincere sympathy to Peg’s family.
Such a good obituary capturing so much of Peg’s extraordinary life! We were childhood friends and then sisters-in-law for 52 years. She was definitely more of a sister than a sister-in-law! Love and hugs to Bill, Laury and Ainsley.
We were old friends that I missed contact these last years. My daughter, Rhonda and Peg’s daughter, Laury were school friends. My sympathy to both Laury and Bill.
To the Marshall and Lehto family members,
You have my deepest sympathy. Peg was such a wonderful, loving, and caring person. I always enjoyed reading her Christmas newsletter to see what adventures Peg and Dave had gone on that year,
I worked with Peg at the New Wilmington post office. She was not only a co-worker and mentor, but a great friend that will truly be missed by me. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I wonder if any friends or family knew that her Byers cousins called her Party Peg? She would wear sparkling hats and loved a good party.She was a well-traveled person and very courageous with her bouts with cancer. My condolences go out to her family and friends.