In Memoriam

Margaret Ferry (Houston)

Margaret Ferry (Houston)


Obituary provided by the Alumnae Association

Margaret “Peggy” Ferry Houston

On Wednesday, July 4, 2012, Margaret Ferry “Peggy” Houston died from complications related to metastatic breast cancer. She was 70 years old.

Beloved wife of John D. Houston, II; mother of John D. Houston, III (Jennifer A. Houston) and Sally Houston McCrady (William D. McCrady, Jr.); sister of Gardner Ferry (Nancy Ferry); grandmother of Abby and Emma Houston, Liam and Henry McCrady.

Peggy was born in White Plains, NY, and attended Mount Holyoke College. She met John Houston at a wedding of a mutual friend in June of 1963, and they married within the year. They moved to Pittsburgh in 1966.

After having two children, Peggy decided that she would like to become a lawyer and start a second career, which in 1978 was a novel idea for a mother with young children. She entered law school at the University of Pittsburgh at the age of 37. Peggy graduated Cum Laude and had a successful 25-year career as a civil litigation attorney at the law firm of Houston, Harbaugh.

Peggy fought an epic 15-year battle with breast cancer. What her family will remember most is her overwhelming desire to continue fighting so that she could do the things she most enjoyed, which included traveling, cooking, gardening and spending time with family and great friends. She was also a voracious reader, often reading a book a day. In recent years, her greatest joy has been her four young grandchildren, with whom she tried to spend as much time as possible.


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05/17/13 05:57 PM #1    

Elizabeth Tacy (Kubick)

Peggy was one of the first people I got to know that freshman in Wilder.  Our families lived only 20 minutes or so apart in Westchester County, but we had never met until we all poured onto the second floor of that odd old dorm in the fall of 1959.  But the friendship begun then lasted throughout the 4 years of our life at Mount Holyoke--despite very different majors, interests and ambitions--and lasted for the rest of our shared time on this planet.  Peggy was one of four of us (and the ring-leader) who took a first unchaperoned trip "abroad" together sophomore year: February vacation in Puerto Rico.  (FORTY-FIVE years later three of us--Peggy, Ruth Otto and I-- returned to PR to celebrate....everything!)  It was also Peggy's incitement that drew all four of the original travelers, including again this time Ginny Griggs Magnuson, on another "celebrate everything" week in Paris in 2010.  As always, Peggy had researched all the lodging options (choosing a rental apartment on Isle St. Louis) and even had sized up the most likely places to eat, where to buy bread, cheese and chocolate, and where the best nearby gelato sites were.  By that time her health had declined and her mobility was much diminished; but her enjoyment of the streets (in a wheelchair ably maneuvered by Ginny), of the barge trip along the Seine, of the fabulous food and of OUR appreciation of it all remained exuberant.  She lives in my memory as one of my dearest long-term--though all-too-occasional--companions, one of my greatest heroes, and one of the very best gifts for my lifetime that I found waiting for me at Mount Holyoke.

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