Marguerite “Peg” Wentz Trimble, 103, died at home in Elkins, W.Va., on Feb. 1, 2017, after an active life with a close family, friends and good bridge. She had been in gradually declining health.
Trimble was born at home years before women had the right to vote. During her lifetime, she saw over a century’s worth of events, including her grandfather’s first car in the area, airplanes, the advent of the space program, the integration of schools, two world wars, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the “tech” age and much more.
She lived her life an avid Democrat and voted in every election. Her first vote was for FDR in 1936 (“which brought shame to the family,” her conservative grandmother said) and her last vote was for Barack Obama, who ranked next to FDR for her.
Trimble was born in Lewes, Del., on March 28, 1913, the second of four children of John Isaac and Marguerite Townsend Wentz. Her mother died in childbirth in 1917, and her father died in the influenza epidemic of 1918. Thereafter, relatives raised her — primarily her Townsend grandparents, Timothy Edgar and Mattie Aydelotte Townsend.
Trimble graduated from Caesar Rodney High School in Dover, Del., (where she later taught for five years), then attended and graduated from the newly established Women’s College at the University of Delaware.
Delaware had competitive sports for girls long before Title IX, and Trimble was an athlete. She played varsity field hockey in high school, varsity basketball in high school and college, and was a summer-camp counselor. The big bands came to dance halls up and down the East Coast, and a good dancer like Trimble had no trouble finding dates to take her. She majored in English at the University Delaware and loved good literature all her life, but her stories about college frequently centered on dances.
On June 25, 1938, in St. George’s Methodist Church in Clarksville, Del., she married George Richardson “Dick” Trimble Jr. of Seaford, Del., and Bethany Beach, Del., after a seven-year courtship. They were handholding best friends until his death from Parkinson’s in August of 1991. As a Forestry School graduate of the University of Maine, he had worked for the U.S Forest Service in New England when they married. He said that he thought he was marrying money because she had a car. She was still paying for it.
They lived in several states in New England as Dick Trimble was transferred from place to place, and they had four children in four different states. Their last transfer was to Elkins, W.Va., in 1957, a place they loved and chose as home.
Trimble always was involved in volunteer work, including PTAs, Cub Scouts, Bible-school and more when her children were young. Later she took on other civic jobs with enthusiasm, such as campaigning for a school bond issue, collecting money for various fund drives and occasional jobs such as chauffeuring a Forest Festival princess.
She was especially proud of her service on the YMCA board and then on the senior-center board. And she delivered Meals on Wheels for decades, until she stopped driving at age 92. She talked about those activities often, telling stories about the people she got to know and the issues involved.
Trimble was the glue for her extended family, keeping up on a regular basis with siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. She and Dick also took their family to Bethany Beach each year to vacation in the midst of extended family — a tradition that continues and now includes four generations.
Until the last few years of her long life, Trimble stayed active and interested, making new friends and keeping up to date with family, news and new ideas. “She was an inspiration to us. For that and so much more, we will remember her with love and respect.”
Trimble was preceded in death by her three siblings, Mildred Joy Young, Helen Louise Miller and Townsend Hayes Wentz. She.is survived by all four of her children, Bruce and his wife, Diane (Shulke) Trimble, of Mason City, Iowa, Jane Trimble of Elkins and formerly of Washington, D.C., Lee Trimble of Pittsboro, N.C., and Colleen Ware and her fiancé, Victor Ho, of Bethany Beach (as well as her late husband, Michael R. Ware of Diana, W.Va.); her grandchildren, Ann Trimble, Susan Trimble, Jessica (Ware) Long and her husband, Jeremy Long, Ian Ware and his wife, Elizabeth (Harman) Ware, and Emma Ware and her husband, Jason Workman; six great-grandchildren, Claire and Sophia Long, Tristan and Rory Ware, and Madison and Tobias Workman; several cousins; and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and -nephews.
Trimble and her family received excellent and much-appreciated assistance from the staff at Mountain Hospice during the final weeks of her life. The family has also been grateful for well-wishes and offers of assistance from various friends, including neighbors Ben and Bernie Backus, and Carl and Cindy Nucilli.
Trimble was cremated, in accordance with her wishes, with arrangements by Lohr & Barb Funeral Home in Elkins, W.Va. Interment was to take place this summer, at the family plot at Blackwater Presbyterian Church of Frankford, Del.