YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Margaret Ellen “Peggy” Connolly, 87, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many, passed away peacefully Tuesday, November 22, 2022, surrounded by her family.

Peggy was born on February 20, 1935, in Youngstown, the eldest child of Martha (Marcie) and James Potts. Despite the heartbreak of the death of her mother before her seventh birthday, she experienced a childhood full of loving family, enjoying reading and poetry, camping at Geneva-on-the-Lake during summers, picking and selling apples from her father’s orchard and the endless task of keeping her younger sister and best friend out of trouble.

After graduating from South High School, Peggy attended Youngstown State University. While at Youngstown State, she was a member of Beta Sigma Omicron Sorority and Junior Prom Queen at the university.

It was to a Youngstown State University dance in her sophomore year that Peggy wore her infamous “red dress” on her first date with James Connolly. This was the start of their lifetime and legacy of lasting love. They were married at Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church in Youngstown on December 20, 1958.

When she interviewed for a kindergarten aide position her senior year of college, she instead walked out of the interview a full-time, first-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School! She taught 39 students that year while completing her Bachelor of Science in Education.

Peggy continued to teach first grade at Washington and Canfield Elementary Schools before staying home to lovingly raise her three children. When she returned to her career, she co-founded and served as administrator of Peg-Mar Creative Preschool, Inc., for eight years with her friend, Marjorie Schafer. She eventually returned to the public schools, teaching kindergarten at Robinwood Lane Elementary in Boardman until her retirement in 1999. Peggy was a passionate and creative teacher, fostering a love of reading, poetry and imagination in her students throughout her career.

Her love for the magic of childhood was further gifted to her grandchildren through endless books, games, baking, crafts for every season and much singing off-key and always producing giggles and laughter with the whole family. Peggy loved gathering with others and will be fondly remembered for always making extra room for one more around her table. Her casseroles and Jell-O fruit salads filled with hand-picked berries brought comfort and joy to many friends over the years. The stories she and her sister, Marcie, shared will continue to bring tears of laughter to the family.

A steadfast and loyal friend, Peggy was an active member of Youngstown Panhellenic for over 60 years, a member of the Youngstown Garden Club and served on several committees at Pleasant Grove and Westminster Presbyterian churches that supported church members and missions. She also served on the South High School annual reunion planning committee for over 65 years.

Peggy loved her family deeply, which was evident to all. To lovingly treasure her memory, she leaves James, the love of her life and husband of nearly 64 years; her three children, Patricia (Lou) Antonelli of Cleveland, Jim Connolly of Canfield and Marcie (Mark) Niemi of Akron; six grandchildren, Erin (Danny) Lyman, Seth Niemi, Mark (Miya) Antonelli, Abbey Niemi, Joel Niemi and Ethan Niemi; her brother, Jim Potts of Berlin Center; many nieces and nephews; her cousin, Barb Hartman of San Antonio, Texas and dear friends and neighbors.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her stepmother, Alma Bascom Potts and her sister, Marcie Jones, formerly of Atlanta, Georgia.

Calling hours will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Boardman on Saturday, December 3, 2022, from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m., with a memorial service to follow at 2:00 p.m. All are welcome to join the family for light refreshments following the service in the Fellowship Hall at the church.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Shepherd of the Valley in Poland and Hospice of the Valley for their tender care.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Westminster Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund at 119 Stadium Drive, Boardman, OH 44512.

Arrangements are by the Davis-Becker Funeral Home in Boardman. Condolences may be sent at beckerobits.com.

A television tribute will air Monday, November 28 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.