Margrith “Peggy” Banziger Murtaugh

Date of Birth

November 21, 1924

Date of Death

June 1, 2011

City of Death

Santa Barbara

November 21,1924 – June 1, 2011

Margrith (Peggy) Murtaugh formerly Margrith Banziger, passed away on June 1, at her home in Santa Barbara, California at the age of 86.

She was born on November 21, 1924 in Heiden, Switzerland. In 1947, as a single woman of 23, she sailed alone on a huge ocean liner from Switzerland to New York to live with her aunt. A story she loved telling was when she sailed into New York harbor on July 4, 1947, the fireworks were going off for the July 4th celebration. She knew nothing of our July 4 Holiday and assumed that the fireworks spectacular was a warm welcome to her and all the many other immigrants coming to this country.

She and her aunt traveled frequently, and they resided along the eastern seaboard. In 1950, she moved to Los Angeles where she met and married Robert M. Murtaugh. They had two daughters together. Beverly Collins of Santa Barbara, CA and Nancy Shaw of Rogers, AR.

She became a widow at the age of 55 when Robert died in 1979 after a long battle with Hodgkins disease and then leukemia.

Margrith worked in the Santa Barbara real estate market as a salesperson for MacElhenny Levy into the 1980’s. After retirement, she began what would eventually become 20 years of volunteer service as a member of the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital auxiliary. She could be seen working the Front Desk and Gift Shop, and she also ran the blood drive every month.

Her robust good health starting declining about 5 years ago, culminating in her death on June 1, 2011.

Margrith loved gardening, reading, taking long walks, Starbuck’s coffee, her children and grandchildren. She leaves behind her daughters Beverly A. Collins of Santa Barbara and Nancy L. Shaw of Rogers, AR. and grandchildren Sarah L. Keenan, Matthew R. Shaw, and Ryan J. Shaw, and 4 great-grandchildren. Also surviving is her sister, Trudi of Jona, Switzerland and many more extended family members living in Switzerland.

A special thank you to Santa Barbara Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care and Visiting Nurses and Companions for their loving and professional care of our mother during her last weeks of life.
A private service has been held, and a larger gathering is being planned.


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