Peter Marshall Pegnam, 75, of Greer, died peacefully Thursday, July 4, 2019, at his home. He was born April 4, 1944, in South County Hospital, Wakefield, Rhode Island to Robert and Marjorie (Lane) Pegnam.
Peter grew up in a government housing project near Quonset Naval Air Station in Wickford, Rhode Island. He had a wonderful childhood.
In his teen years, he had the good fortune of working at a Howard Johnson restaurant, the Wickford Shellfish, LaBelle's Garage and as a self-employed quahogger.
Later, he was given the opportunity of working at Hal Thompson's Richfield on the waterfront while attending Seattle University.
After graduating with a degree in journalism, Peter was hired as News Editor at the renowned Omak (WA) Chronicle, where he honed his skills under the tutelage of the illustrious Bruce A.Wilson.
Following stints as executive editor at the Lebanon (OR) Express and editor of the Sierra Vista (AZ) Herald-Dispatch, Peter landed at the Tucson Citizen.
During his 23 years at the Citizen, he toiled in various capacities including copy editor, state editor, wire editor, rewrite specialist, reporter and feature writer. Among his various writing awards was a first place in the country given by the National Society of Sunday and Feature Editors for a quirky first person account of playing tic-tac-toe against a chicken at the Pima County Fair.
Peter also conspired with fellow writer Paul Laurence Allen in producing three books for the Citizen: “Treasure Troves and Tales”, “Arizona Territory: Baptism in Blood,” and “Our Forgotten Past.” After the Citizen closed down in 2009, he and Allen produced “Stu! Your Hair's on Fire!” That book was an account of some of the colorful characters that breathed life into the newspaper during its long and storied existence. Peter then wrote and published a brief memoir: “From Swamp Yankee to Desert Rat.”
In 1995, Peter moved to Greer, where he married Janet Rawlins. Together they had a busy but grand time running three businesses simultaneously: Greer Valley REALTORS, Pegnam's Riverbend Cabins and Calamity Janet's Antiques, Art & Ambrosia. Peter also worked at developing his art career that had begun in Tucson, painting and selling many works of art to patrons around the country and across the oceans.
After a brief hiatus, they launched a new store “ART etc” and Pegnam's Realty and Investment.
Peter's three children from a previous marriage and Janet's three children made up a delightful blended family.
Peter is survived by his wife, Janet; his three children, Sarah (Tim) Wall, Michael (Amanda) Pegnam and Jennifer Isaacs, as well as Janet's children, Robyn, Ericka (Charlie) Denton, and Damon (Courtney) Rodriguez. Also surviving are Peter's three grandchildren and Janet's five, Peter's mother, Marjorie Card, and his brother Richard (Elaine) Pegnam.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Corcoran Pegnam, and eldest brother Robert, Jr.
To honor Peter's wishes, a private family graveside service was held Wednesday, July 10, at the Eagar Cemetery. A memorial service is being planned for a future date in Greer.
For those who have special memories of Peter and would like to leave an online condolence for his family, visit www.burnhammortuary.com
Burnham Mortuary of Eagar handled arrangements.