Peggy Rowland Person
Peggy Rowland Person died peacefully with her children and grandchildren with her, on September 1, 2021 at age 88. Born as a twin to the wonderful Billie Rowland on September 27, 1933, in Ardmore, Oklahoma to Charles O. Rowland and Vera Campbell Rowland, the twins were the younger, mischievous sisters of Betty Rowland.
In 1951, Peggy graduated from Memorial High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In H.S. Peggy was the first female president of her senior class. She was awarded the State & local Citizenship Award from the D.A.R, was President of the Episcopal youth of Oklahoma, and president of several active social clubs of Tulsa. She received the Spirit of Waldemar Award - Ideal Girl Award in 1950.
Peggy moved to Austin to attend University of Texas where she pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and enrolled in the Plan II Honors Program. At UT Peggy was known as a powerful student leader. She served as President of Orange Jackets in 1954 and was awarded the Silver Spur Award as Outstanding Woman Student 1953-1954. She was a leader in the efforts to end racial segregation and to promote integration at UT and in many arenas throughout her lifetime. Peggy was President of the University YWCA and Vice-president of the National Student Council of the YMCA and YWCA.
The University of Texas in Austin conferred Peggy’s B.A. in Cultural Anthropology with a second major in Education in 1955 and her M.A. in Education in 1961.
On June 3, 1955 Peggy married Ralph E. Person. Peggy & Ralph lived and taught in India for 3 years together as part of the student Christian movement. They spent time working in Brazil as well. Peggy’s love of cultures combined with her Degree in Anthropology & Education were the fabric that weaved through her life in her love for people. Peggy joined Ralph in his human rights activism and mission to end racial discrimination and promote social justice. The couple formed a dynamic duo.
Peggy & Ralph had 3 daughters. In 1964, the family moved to Basel, Switzerland so that Ralph could avail himself of a scholarship and earn a PhD from the University of Basel in Church History. Upon completion, the family relocated to Atlanta where Peggy spent many marvelous years teaching girls soccer, leading girl scout troops, teaching horseback riding, leading camping trips and teaching her girls how to be strong in all things outdoors as well as in social justice. Peggy re-ignited her education career when the family returned to Texas, first teaching in South Texas and then in the Austin ISD. A leader in all activities, she Co-Led the Foreign Student Exchange Program through Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
In 1977 the family was called to ministry and moved to Temple where Ralph became the Minister of the First Presbyterian Church. Peggy taught fourth and then fifth grades at Thornton Elementary School for thirty years. She also became the leader and president of Texas Classroom Teachers, where she was instrumental in obtaining retirement benefits for Texas’s teachers and picketing the legislature for teacher support and benefits. She coached local girls’ soccer teams and taught the church’s youth group for over 20 years. She stayed an active member of Texas Exes at UT Austin and remained close to her Kappa Kappa Gamma friends in the area.
Peggy Rowland Person: the matriarch of reason, teacher of measured restraint, and lover of humanity in all its beautiful expressions. Her kitchen was filled with diversity, hilarity, intellectual conversation, and an open-hearted acceptance of humanity.
She leaves behind a respectful kindness that will project forward through generations to come: A truly beautiful and elegant legacy. She will be missed as an honest soul who had a richly textured life.
The Person family are committed and determined to carry her legacy forward; Karen Brownfield & John Brownfield (husband), Amy Claire Person & Gary Powell (husband), Kathleen Person, Kallihan Kokernot (granddaughter) and Joaquin Barina (grandson). Katharine Mook (niece) Beth Young (niece) Joel Car (cousin)
A celebration of Peggy’s Life Celebration will be Announced in the New Year 2022.
An opportunity for a memorial gift is the Westminster Student Foundation WSF Endowment Fund in Honor of Ralph and Peggy Person. (Aka Ukirk-Austin).
The mailing address is: The Texas Presbyterian Foundation, Account # 53571, 6100 Colwell Blvd. STE 250 Irving, TX 75039