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Remembering Peggy Whitworth

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Cedar Rapids and people throughout the Corridor are remembering a woman of influence tonight. Peggy Whitworth died today at the age of 71. Among other things, she helped create the Brucemore Historic Site and served as its Executive Director until 2007.

"Peggy has a very warm heart, she was also very driven, very funny, said the current Executive Director of the Brucemore Historic Site David Janssen.

In addition to her legacy at Brucemore, Peggy Whitworth championed political causes and candidates.

"When candidates would come to town they would tend to look for Peggy to Emcee the event and she always did a bang-up job, said fellow Democratic organizer Steve Sovern.

In her final days, she received phone calls from President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, whose campaigns she worked on in Iowa.

Those were certainly two men in which she believed, said her brother Tim Boyle.

"Peggy is just a little beyond five foot tall but I used to call her the sergeant because she had a command and a voice that required respect, said Sovern.

At home in Cedar Rapids, some credit her personality and vision for what Brucemore could be, for making it the community cornerstone it is today. Her brother says before it opened, the picturesque grounds were a mystery to Cedar Rapids.

"Well not now, said Boyle. Because thanks to Peggy, it's a community jewel. It really is.

Janssen says Brucemore remains a cultural center of the community by hosting events and concerts.

"She found a balance there that very few sites can find, said Janssen

One of Peggy's lasting marks is making a historic site like Brucemore open and accessible to the public.

"One of the ways she's honored every day is when there are people walking on the site, she would have loved that, said Janssen.

Peggys spirit will now live on through every visitor.

"Now we have the forth family of Brucemore, and that is all the people who come to enjoy the history and architecture of the site, take part in the many activities and enjoy Mrs. Hall's gift to all of us, said Peggy Whitworth while she was still the Executive Director of Brucemore.

Its a gift that Peggy Whitworth helped so many other appreciate.
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