Peggy M. Boellner, a homemaker who enjoyed cooking and entertaining family and friends, died June 7 of complications from a fall at her Timonium home. She was 83.
The daughter of a public works employee and a homemaker, Peggy Marie Wax was born and raised in Norton, Va. During World War II, she moved to Baltimore with her family and attended Southern High School.
While working at a Read Drug and Chemical Co. pharmacy in the 2100 block of E. Monument St., she met and fell in love with her future husband.
"She was working at the soda fountain, and he was a young pharmacist just starting out," said a daughter, Sue Major of Finksburg.
In 1948, she married Otto Karl Boellner Jr., and for years the couple lived on Glenhaven Road, near The Alameda, before moving in 1968 to Timonium.
"She capably raised her four children and was a homemaker extraordinaire," said another daughter, Debra Watland of Pottstown, Pa.
"Being a homemaker is a dying art, and she was just an awesome one. She did it all with excellence," said Ms. Watland. "She was a mentor, encouraging and a wonderful example for all of us."
Mrs. Boellner was in her 40s when she returned to school and earned her General Education Development certificate in the late 1970s. She then trained to become a medical assistant and graduated from the Medix School in Towson.
During the 1980s, she worked as a medical assistant for a dermatologist and a gynecologist, but her life was centered on her home, church, family and friends, family members said.
"Cooking was a big thing to her," said Ms. Major, who recalled her mother rising early to prepare for the family picnics that she enjoyed.
"She'd get up at 6 o'clock in the morning and take down her old iron skillet and fry chicken and make potato salad and deviled eggs," said Ms. Major. "And when we got to Alpine Beach in Anne Arundel County, she'd open the basket and spread out lunch. She also made Southern-style sweet tea. It was just awesome."
Mrs. Boellner also liked to organize dinner parties for family and friends.
"Her table was always beautifully arranged and set. They were elegant," said Ms. Major, who said her mother enjoyed arranging tea parties for her grandchildren.
"She'd set the table just like the grown-ups were coming, with a tea set and dishes. She'd serve finger sandwiches and desserts, and everything was so good, even the boys wanted to come," she said.
Another dish that found favor with Mrs. Boellner's family was her homemade chicken salad, "which she always served with fruit salad," said Ms. Major. "Whenever my daughter made my mother's chicken salad, everyone in her office wanted the recipe."
Though her husband, an accomplished woodworker, built a 22-foot sailboat, Mrs. Boellner, a confirmed landlubber, preferred the beach at Ocean City to sailing.
Mrs. Boellner had been a member for many years of Valley Baptist Church, where she helped prepare church suppers and taught Sunday school. Last year, she joined Cockeysville Baptist Church.
"My mother came from very humble beginnings and was very religious," Ms. Major said.
"She loved attending her church and loved the Lord," Ms. Watland said.
An animal lover, Mrs. Boellner was seldom seen without her dog, Happy, a bichon frise, family members said.
"She was fiercely independent, even in her elderly years, and delighted in spending time with her beloved family," Ms. Watland said.
Mrs. Boellner enjoyed reading, especially poetry and books of an inspirational nature. She also liked working in her flower garden.
Her husband of 61 years died in 2009.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at her church, 232 Warren Road, Cockeysville.
In addition to her two daughters, Mrs. Boellner is survived by two sons, Timothy Boellner of Baltimore and Russell Boellner of Baldwin; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun