August 9, 1933 ~ December 16, 2020
Margaret “Peggy” Ruler England passed away at home surrounded by family on December 16, 2020, at age 87. She was able to depart this life in the assurance that a Democratic President and a female Vice President would be taking over the White House in January. Margaret always said, “It
takes a woman!” to get anything done.
Margaret was born in 1933 in London, England. She was the second
youngest of seven children born to Elizabeth Orrin Ruler and John Robert
Ruler. Margaret’s father passed away when she was young, but she often
laughed about her fond memories growing up near Tower Bridge. She would speak of her mother always making room for more at tea time, welcoming their friends who stopped by. When World War II came to England, Margaret described how the family took shelter in tube stations during air raids. Eventually, Margaret and her siblings were separated and
evacuated from the city. She was only six years old and first went to
Waldron, a village in Sussex. When Hilter began bombing the coast, she
was evacuated to Wales. She spoke of unhappy times there. Margaret
believed a letter to her mother must have gotten through the censors
because she remembered her mother showing up unannounced to take her
back to London.
Margaret developed a love of literature, poetry, theatre, and reading in
school; Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Emily Bronte were among her
favorites. During more heated parenting moments, she was prone to quote
King Lear, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is, to have a
thankless child!” That was usually effective.
She also developed her feminist tendencies as a teen. She remembered one
of her favorite teachers speaking on equal pay for equal work. Miss told
her that a male teacher received more salary than she did because “he
had a family to support.” Margaret felt the injustice of that, even in
Margaret met Jerry England on a blind date while he was serving in the
United States Air Force stationed at RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire.
(Rumor has it that her sister Josie was supposed to go on the date, but
backed out and sent Peggy). Apparently, the date went well because they
were married on December 28, 1957. The couple moved to the United
States, and settled in Kansas City, Missouri. They would have celebrated
63 years of marriage in a few weeks.
Margaret was fiercely feminist, cheeky, and proud. Always on the side of
the underdog and the underrepresented, she was Britishly polite but not
afraid to speak her mind. Margaret loved to stir the pot at family
functions and began political and religious discussions at every
gathering. She was also infinitely charitable. She kept cash with her to
give to the homeless, forcing Jerry to roll down his car window at
traffic lights. A staunch Anglican, Margaret was a member of her
beloved St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. She volunteered at St. Michaels
Necessity Pantry, donated school supplies for local children, and
supported Episcopal Relief & Development. Margaret retired as a Customer
Sales Representative at House of LLoyd in 1993.
Margaret is survived by her husband, Jerry; her sister Josephine; her
children, David (wife, Lisa), Kimberly (husband, Robert); five
granddaughters: Ashleigh, Alexandra, Margaret (fiancé, Tyler),
Elizabeth, Sarah; and great granddaughter, Lillian. She was preceded in
death by her siblings: Bette, John, Violet, May, and Sidney.
A Celebration of Life will take place later in the spring when gathering
in her memory is safe. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to St
Anne’s Episcopal Church, 1815 NE Independence Avenue, Lee’s Summit,
Missouri for outreach programs including Hillcrest Transitional Housing
and St Michael’s Necessity Pantry.
Margaret, The Matriarch as her granddaughters fondly called her, always
said, “Family is forever.” She will live on in us. Although she is
missed dearly, we rejoice that she is now free of all the pain of her
last several years.