2013-09-26 / Obituaries

Margaret Donkersley

Margaret “Peggy” Donkersley passed away peacefully after a short illness on Sept. 4, 2013.

Peggy was born in Liverpool, England in 1923. She lived there with her father, William, who owned a general store; her mother, Eleanor; her younger brother Raymond, and her grandfather, a sailmaker who had been at sea for over 40 years.

As a child, Peggy especially enjoyed her grandfather’s stories about running the northern blockade during the Civil War and being in San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake. Peggy’s mother suffered several strokes and it was the attentive nursing she received that made Peggy determined to become a nurse.

At age 18, Peggy began training as a nurse at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Liverpool. That allowed her to avoid being drafted into the military and to stay close to her family. Peggy learned on the job, nursing wounded soldiers and treating local casualties from bombing during the early years of World War II.

Peggy always said that in England, a nurse never stopped learning. She took additional training in neurology, midwifery, and infectious disease. Her nursing career lasted for 56 years.

After the war, she and her brother went to Canada in 1954. Peggy worked there as a company nurse for five years and then followed her brother to California. Peggy planned to continue on to New Zealand, but nursing interfered. She worked at several hospitals in Southern California, where she met Helen Fowler at St. Luke’s Hospital. Helen got Peggy interested in Mariposa and found her a house there. Peggy moved to Mariposa in 1973 and began nursing at John C. Fremont Hospital. She lived with her dear friend, Vera “Bunny” Welch until Bunny’s death in 1995.

Peggy made many friends in Mariposa. She was fascinated by local history and was a guide for courthouse tours. She worked at the Mariposa Visitors Center, welcoming tourists to the area. Peggy always had dogs—usually big dogs like Newfoundlands. She was also an active member of the Mariposa Dog Club. She was a strong supporter of the Mariposa SPCA as well.

Peggy enjoyed activities at the Mariposa Senior Activity Center. She volunteered there for many years and continued to enjoy the meals provided there until recently. She was a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer for Manna House for many years as well.

Peggy is survived by her nephews, Keith and James Donkersley; her sister-in-law, Evangeline Donkersley and many friends.

A Celebration of her Life is planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Mariposa Senior Activity Center.

Contributions honoring Peggy can be made to Manna House, the Mariposa SPCA or any charity of the donor’s choice.

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