Peggy Center, 87, of Greer, SC, died on September 14, 2022, after a stroke. Born in Taylors, SC in 1934 to the late Lucy Turk Boling and James Theo (Dutch) Boling, she suffered from debilitating childhood illnesses including Whooping Cough and Scarlett Fever. She was not expected to live past age 6 and was inspired to become a nurse by her in-home nurse, Miss Bess, and her stories of Florence Nightingale.
Peggy attended nursing school at Spartanburg General Hospital (Class of 1957) and worked as a floor nurse at Allen Bennett Memorial Hospital. She later attended McLeod Infirmary in Florence, SC to study anesthesia. After returning to Allen Bennett Hospital, she worked as a nurse anesthetist and later became Chief Anesthetist, a position she held until her retirement.
She later served as a part time school nurse for 10 years for the Greenville County School District.
She married the late Cleo Center in 1962 with whom she had three children, and moved to Greer, SC. Married for 49 years, she and Cleo built a life together that included membership at First Baptist Church, Greer, SC where she taught Sunday School.
She loved to travel including camping and exploring, car trips, much of the US including Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, several trips to Europe including Ireland and Greece, and annual trips to the Blue Ridge mountains, Edisto Island, SC, and Hilton Head Island, SC.
Because of kidney damage related to Scarlett Fever, she was the recipient of a kidney transplant in 2009, and, later, was a two-time cancer survivor. She also suffered from chronic joint and back pain.
Despite these setbacks, she insisted on living well and living large.
She loved people and was always happiest when entertaining or being a part of a greater crowd.
After her stroke, when told that the physical therapist was going to visit her, she replied “good, I can’t wait to see what I can do.” This was the indomitable spirit of Peggy Center. Sadly, she entered hospice care before that could happen.
Peggy was a volunteer with Meals on Wheels and active in the Greer Community Ministries “Big Thursday” fundraiser.
She loved gardening and was also a skilled artist who worked in mediums of crafts, acrylic paint, sewing and handwork but excelled at quilting; was a member of Peach Patchers Quilting Guild; and made and gave away quilts to her nieces, family members, and close friends.
In later years, she became re-acquainted with Jewell DeYoung, who had also been widowed, and they quickly became devoted friends. They shared a love of travel, and she became a fan of Jewell’s passion for car shows, particularly the Corvair Club events. She moved her church membership to Apalache Baptist Church and attended with Jewell, becoming the “cute old couple,” loved, and admired by the entire community.
Peggy B. Center is survived by her sister Julia Boling Smith (Lanise) of Taylors, SC; daughter Maria Cromer (Cary) of Travelers Rest, SC; two sons, Hank Center of Okatie, SC, and Jimmy Center, of Taylors, SC; two grandchildren Alex Batson (Allison) and Emily Haughton (Tommy); two great-grandchildren, Tilly Haughton and Sally Haughton; many nieces and nephews; the “Georgia” cousins; countless friends; and devoted companion, Jewell DeYoung.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by husband, Henry Cleo Center, (2011); brother James Earl Boling; and sister, Mary Juanita Boling Garner.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, September 17, 2022, at The Wood Mortuary conducted by Rev. Brian Childers and Rev. Brett DeYoung.
Visitation will be held 9-10:45 a.m. Saturday at The Wood Mortuary.
The family is at their respective homes.
Memorials may be made to Greer Community Ministries, P.O. Box 1373, Greer, SC 29652 or Apalache Baptist Church, 1915 Gap Creek Rd., Greer, SC 29651.
Online condolences may be made at www.thewoodmortuary.com.