Obituary : Peggy Thayer
Peggy Thayer died suddenly January 5, at her home in Island Grove, two days after her 56th birthday. She lived there with her partner, Sandy, of 22 years. She was so dearly loved and cherished by her partner, her parents, her siblings, friends, and by her ever enlarging Island community.
Peggy was the first born to Roger and Jane Thayer of Sengekontacket in Oak Bluffs. She was, in her youth, a curly blonde joy, who loved school and was always scholastically tops in her class. Peggy was a "quester," seeking answers for herself to the essence of life and her role. She described herself as an artist and student. Yes, she was an inspired artist, a life-long student, and a creative thinker, seeking her own sense of the spiritual life. "I look at the object, I begin to find the colors. Sometimes I even talk to the colors...gradually, as the process continues, I begin to become the object...feel what the object feels like, being itself." Many will remember her yearly Art of Healing shows, which she conceived and presented here on the Island.
Leaving the halls of Clark University, where she was encouraged to go after high school in Maryland, she responded to her own call for artistic expression at Goddard College, finding her own healing in the freedom of her visual art. She asked, "What is the spiritual nature of being creative?" Her path always led her to seek learning; she got an MA in Consciousness Studies at JFK University in San Francisco, and a PhD in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In her own words, "My creative process involves bringing into form an unseen feeling, idea, insight. The way in which the idea will manifest is not always known ahead of time. It is a process of forming that this 'something' takes shape. In painting, it is an interplay between myself and the object I am portraying...I am the brush, the paint, the stroke, the cliff...I am connected to the earth and the unseen, the source..."
Peg was the office administrator for the Unitarian-Universalist Society of M.V., where she was co- facilitator of Mindfulness (Buddhist) Meditation.
Most recently through an online, interactive 12-week course, "Anti-Oppression, Pastoral Care, and Aging" by a Unitarian-Universalist pastor in California, Peg found social significance in the spiritual faith.
Peggy was center director for transpersonal and consciousness studies at Akamai University in Hawaii. She has published two books, which are still in print: "The Experience of Being Creative as a Spiritual Practice," and "Elderescence: The Gift of Longevity," the latter with her mother. This winter, with joy and intent, she had embarked on the journey of being a teacher for the ACE MV program here on our Island.
Though at times it was hard, she always had a resolve to "follow my dreams." She loved the Island and most recently expressed happiness with her life. We have to believe that in death she has found her spiritual home.
As her friend wrote, "Peggy told me just recently that she had attained a goal of living without resistance and it was for her, exquisite. From here she experienced the world with pristine clarity and utter acceptance."
Peg's survivors include her partner, Sandy; her parents, Jane and Roger; her brother, David, a physics professor at the University of Wyoming; younger sister Cyndy, a legal clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice in Cleveland, Ohio; nephew David II of New York City; and Laurie, Peg's longest dear friend, of Providence, R.I.
Please, in lieu of flowers, send donations in Peg's name to the Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs: 508-693-1850; featherstoneart.org. A memorial gathering will be announced in early spring.