Margaret (Peggy) Rigione Denton
Margaret (Peggy) Denton, beloved mother of Sandra Denton and Michael Denton (deceased), and grandmother (Nona) to Philip Scheid IV and Owen Scheid, passed away on September 08, 2017 from heart failure after a short illness. She had an adventurous spirit, and lived her life with a vigor and determination – always with family, children, grandchildren, and many friends.
Peggy was born in Winchester, Massachusetts to Antonio Rigione and Giovannina (Iantosca) Rigione. Peggy’s parents came from Montefalcione and Avellino Italy in the early 1900’s to find freedom and to fulfill their dreams and as a result, the generations that followed produced many successful citizens in their own communities
In keeping with her philosophy of independence and curiosity, Peggy immersed herself in life and followed her heart. She was the only sibling of six to leave Massachusetts on a path which led her from secretarial college to becoming an executive secretary in Boston, to a WAC in the Navy, and finally moving to Santa Barbara in 1947, at the end of WWII. She left Boston in a snowstorm and landed in what she called paradise. She fell in love with this town and the community, which was home for the rest of her life. Santa Barbara was also where she met and married Roy Denton, also a veteran, (1922-1999). She worked in varied and interesting jobs and when she formally retired from Raytheon, she began a very enjoyable second career as a surrogate grandmother working for local hotels and with local families, some of which she stayed in touch with until her death. She also volunteered as a Pink Lady at Cottage Hospital for many years and crocheted hundreds of baby blankets for the newborns – who always held a special place in her heart.
She was always active – both locally and globally. Walking and exercise classes at the Recreation Center and the Y.M.C.A., allowed her to be a healthy traveler. She was a “foodie” before it was a thing; she rode elephants and camels, and always enjoyed good wine. She had a contagious spirit, always said, “yes” to adventure. Her favorite adventures were with her beloved grandsons. Sunday morning breakfast with them was a special adventure every week.
Peggy believed she would rejoin in her afterlife her predeceased son Michael Denton (1952-2015), her parents, siblings and friends. Because her faith gave her strength, she was not afraid to pass on to join them. Her beliefs consoled her, and console her remaining family at such a difficult time.
Her family is thankful to the staff on the Cottage Hospital Critical Care floor, and we are especially grateful to the wonderful and loving, supportive staff, for the care Peggy received at Serenity House. As per her wishes, there will be a small service for family only. Donations may be made in her honor to Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care: 509 E. Montecito Street Suite 200 – Santa Barbara, CA 93103. www.vnhcsb.org/make-a-gift