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Margaret M. Harrington

Margaret M. Harrington, 65, a loving wife and mother, died Sunday, August 17, 2014 at her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, of cancer.  

Born in Greenwich, Connecticut on December 14, 1948, Peggy was the daughter of the late Arthur Robert Harrington and Margaret Mary (Tedeschi) Harrington. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dayton and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University.

Peggy's long and successful career in employee benefits management began in New York at Time Inc., and in 1985 brought her to Raleigh and a position at Glaxo (now GSK). Upon retiring from GSK she worked tirelessly on the formation and expansion of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a non-profit initiative to promote health by making preventative care possible through employee benefits.

In 1983, Peggy met Richard Robert Burgess at a summer house on Long Island, and married him on August 4, 1984. In fairly short order they had two daughters and a happy, family-centered lifestyle. Richard died of pancreatic cancer on December 28, 2003, and as a devoted single parent Peggy never faltered in guiding the girls through their educations and the launch of their own careers.

Peggy was supportive, creative, loved and felt deeply and had an engaging sense of humor. Not surprisingly, she fostered enduring friendships from virtually every phase of her life. For the last 10 years or so Peggy studied classical piano, becoming proficient enough to perform in Piano Guild and other recitals. She loved sacred music and sang with New York's Canterbury Choral Society and the Hillyer Community Chorus in Raleigh.

Peggy is survived by daughters, Meredith and Laura Burgess of Raleigh, North Carolina; sisters, Patty (Ted) Townsend of Elm Grove, Wisconsin and Kathy Harrington (Charlie Moles) of Chicago, Illinois, brother John (Meribeth) Harrington of Wellesley, Massachusetts; an aunt, Elly Leonard of Stuart, Florida; as well as a number of nieces, nephews, great nieces and cousins.

The family will host a gathering to celebrate Peggy's life sometime in the coming weeks. Peggy asked that donations made in her memory be sent to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research