Marguerite Stahl Christensen Drab
July 8, 1925 – July 3, 2020
Our dear sweet mother, Marguerite (Peggy) Stahl Christensen Drab escaped the tired and worn out physical part of herself, just four days short of her 95th birthday on July 3. She departed in the wee hours of the morning with her granddaughter Jessie Moylan holding her throughout the night. Those last three days in the hospital she was never without one of us. A devout Catholic, I know Mama is happy to be with the Lord. She waited a long time.
Peggy was born in Yonkers, New York, the first of three children. As a child she enjoyed Camp Fernway in upstate New York, where she learned to swim, sail and ride. In 1947 Peggy graduated from Cornell, with a B.S. in Horticulture, becoming a landscape designer. She met her husband Frank over a drafting table at Rosedale Nursery in Westchester, New York. After marrying, they moved to rural New Jersey where they raised four children. Peggy delighted in the agricultural aspect of the 20-acre farm, with animals and gardens of every description, and lots of room for parties. How they loved entertaining!
She did volunteer work for the Catholic Church, the Republican Party, and raised funds for charity through her “College Club.” She ran a rabbit 4-H club called the Hasenpfeffers. Upon retirement in Florida, she was a Eucharistic Minister at her church, and volunteered for SHARE. She attended every Alumni weekend each year at Cornell, well into her 80s until she concluded it had gotten too expensive.
She was happily living in Oakmont Gardens where she played games, and read to her blind friend Margaret Focha every afternoon. They shared a birthday and unbelievably passed within 20 hours of each other! (I think Mother grabbed Margaret and said, “Come fly with me, forever…!”) She loved her computer and was a shrewd solitaire player on it. Peggy attended the writing class offered through SRJC. She had moved to Oakmont after losing everything in the Coffey Park Fire of 2017. Although she was 92, she quickly made an abundance of wonderful friends. Everyone loved her, residents and staff. She was always friendly, smiley and never complained.
Mother was extremely modest, and shy even as an adult. As an assignment years ago for her writing class, Peggy wrote her own obituary. In it she said most people would think that their awards and accolades, college degrees, etc., were representative of the value of their life. But she said there was nothing more important to her than her children. That we were her gifts to the world. Mother’s priorities were always as grounded as could be.
On June 2 this year Mama fell outside Oakmont Gardens on her daily walk, and broke her hip. She had a very difficult 32 days until her death. To her credit, she tried very hard to recover, did her physical therapy, and always smiled. She told us the day before she passed over, that it was her time and now she would go, and that she was glad she would never have to learn another digital thing! In the end Mama died as she had lived. She did everything well, and was efficient. She always told us kids to “use our time wisely.” So she did. And did it well.
Peggy was preceded in death by her husband Francis J. Drab, her brother Charles Stahl Christensen II, sister Joan Christensen, and her mother and father Charles and Frances Christensen.
Peggy is survived by her daughters Catherine Moylan (Dave) Jefferson of Kenwood, Rosemary (Ed) Hoffmann of Millsboro DE, Christina (Doug) McCart, Ph.D. of Salem VA, and son Daniel Charles Drab of Rohnert Park.
Also survived by her beloved grandchildren Casey (Sandy) Moylan of Rohnert Park, Jessica Moylan of Sonoma, Stephanie Taylor of East Bangor, PA, Rebecca Taylor of Harrisburg, PA, Ryan (Liz) McCart Montpelier, VA, Ashton McCart of Raleigh, NC, and great-granddaughter seven-year old Madeleine Quinn Moylan (who invariably melted her heart) of Rohnert Park.
A private Celebration of Life will be held in Kenwood sometime in the future. She would have been grateful for any donations sent to “Oaks of Hebron” (6950 Commerce Blvd, Rohnert Park, CA 94928) which cares for our brother Daniel, for which we are exceedingly grateful. We honestly think Mama lived to be so old because of Dan who she always called “our special child.” Dan soldiers on with two development disabilities; his continuing care was our last promise to her.
Special thanks to the Memorial Hospital staff and especially Joy; the caregivers at Oakmont Gardens, especially Vitalina, Armando, Lulu, Ally, Chris, Catherine and Jade, and everybody at Hospice by the Bay.
And finally, a very special thanks to the heroics of Ami, Anish Mira, and the rest of the Khiroya Family, and their caregivers. With two homes soon to become engulfed in flames, these wonderful people carried Mother and 14 others, to their personal cars for evacuation, saving their lives on that awful fateful middle of the night/morning of October 9, 2017. We will always be in your debt. Blessings on all you angels!
– Catherine Jefferson