Yonge, Mary Margaret (Peggy) Shepherd Jenkins, 68, of Austin, TX, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2017, after a six year battle with lung and brain cancer. Peggy was born in Tyler, Texas, on October 25, 1948. Her family eventually moved to Midland, Texas, where she graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1966, excelling as a tennis player, earning the title of Homecoming Queen and serving on the Rebelee Court.
Her college days began at Stephens College in Missouri, but she soon transferred to the University of Texas in Austin, pledged Kappa Alpha Theta, and graduated with a degree in Home Economics in 1970. It was there that she met her first husband, Walt Jenkins, and they married in 1970. His career in the Navy led them to live in many places such as San Francisco, Athens, GA, Long Beach, Honolulu and San Diego. When Walt joined civilian life in 1978, they moved to Kingwood, Texas, where they raised their two children, Melissa and Lance, and Peggy lived in Kingwood until 1993. During that time, Peggy was involved in American Association of University Women (AAUW), served as a Girl Scout leader, was a dedicated member of Kingwood United Methodist Church, taught preschool, earned a Masters Degree in Mathematics from Sam Houston State University, tutored many students, taught as a high school math teacher at Humble High School, and then worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Schwarz Pharma. All the while, she never missed one of her children's sporting events and truly thrived in raising her children, by far the greatest source of joy in her life.
In 1993, Peggy moved to Austin to be closer to family and worked for Pharmaco as a clinical trial specialist. Soon after, she met George Yonge, whom she married in 1995. Together they experienced many adventures traveling on cruises all over the world, including a nearly two year trip of the 'Great Circle' on their 28 foot boat The Spray, which then led them to author and make many presentations on their book, The Great Circle Waterway. The Great Circle trip was over 6,000 miles and Peggy, with her mathematical skills became a world-class navigator. According to George's account, she saved their bacon three times in rough seas and fog with her cool headed GPS programming and plotting skills. Her unwavering spirituality was formed as a young child and she relied on that faith throughout her life. Peggy thrived on relationships and loved her family and friends fiercely and made friends everywhere she went. She had an uncanny ability to always put others first in situations, always wanted to know how the person she was spending time with was doing and usually had some sort of a gift for that person. She found great pleasure in travel, needlepoint, reading, and was always writing thank you notes and taking pictures of loved ones.
Survivors include her loving husband of 21 years, George, her daughter Melissa and her husband Kyle Snipes of Atlanta, GA, her son Lance and his wife Cathy Jenkins of Kingwood, TX, her stepsons Christy and his wife Christine Yonge and Wes Yonge of Austin, TX, along with 10 grandchildren Megan, Molly and Mary Mason Snipes, Gaius Jenkins, Kate, Nell and Wes Yonge and Ian, Christian and Jake Yonge, sister and brother in law Becky and Rudy Hopkins of Austin, brother and sister in law Will and Barbara Shepherd of Austin, and a large extended family of nephews and cousins across the country.
A memorial service will be held at Tarrytown Methodist Church at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Open Windows Learning Center (www.openwindowsfoundation.com), an educational organization in the town of San Miguel Duenas, Guatemala, that provides reading material and after school space to children that Peggy donated many hours and service to the last years of her life. The family wishes to thank all the staff of the Health Care Center at Longhorn Village and to Austin Heart to Heart Hospice for their dedicated and loving care of Peggy during her illness.
Saturday, April 08
1:30 PM 3415810 3514073 20170408T133000
Tarrytown United Methodist Church
2601 Exposition Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703