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Obituary: Margaret Karcher

peggy karcherMargaret (Peggy) Taylor Karcher, 72, of Tequesta, Florida, died June 4, 2015 in Brielle, New Jersey, with her loving family at her side. Her passing came after a valiant battle with cancer. She was passionate, vibrant and optimistic.

Peggy was the second of six children of Harold and Dorothy Taylor of Spring Lake, New Jersey. The family owned the Colonial Hotel in Spring Lake. She attended Star of the Sea Academy and graduated from Manasquan High School and from Monmouth College.

She was married to the late Alan J. Karcher of Sayreville, New Jersey. Together they were blessed with three children, Elizabeth, Ellen and Timothy. Peggy started her political activism as a “Hughes Girl” campaigning for Governor Hughes in 1965, volunteering with the League of Women Voters and marching with NOW. She proved to be a tremendous political campaigner, helping Alan win a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly at the age of 30, and after four successive reelection victories, selection as Speaker of the House. She worked tirelessly at Alan’s side in an unsuccessful bid for Governor in 1989. Thereafter, the family moved from their longtime family home in Sayreville to Princeton.

Peggy had a natural bent for public service. After Alan died in 1999, she was asked to fill out a term on the Princeton Boro Council. She went on to be elected in her own right and reelected in 2003 and in 2006, and also served as Council President. During that time she used her leadership and consensus- building talent to facilitate the construction of the new public library in downtown Princeton. She forged an alliance between Princeton University and Princeton Boro regarding drug and alcohol policies. In 2009 she received the first Corner House Foundation Legacy Award in recognition of her efforts and contribution to Princeton’s youth. She loved her time in Princeton and often said, “Princeton is my sister, not just an office or an address.”

Peggy loved and supported the arts. She had a beautiful voice and was an amazing dancer. She adored musicals from the time she saw South Pacific at age 11. She was an athlete and sportswoman enjoying downhill skiing and ice skating, ocean swimming, sailing and SCUBA diving, century bike riding, fly fishing, and horseback riding. The Karchers owned a farm in Whitehouse Station from the 1970s through the 1990s where Peggy drove the tractor, plowed the fields, planted crops and tended to the animals. She was a certified teacher, and worked in the Sayreville public schools and was licensed as a real estate broker at the Coldwell Banker Berg Agency in East Brunswick, NJ. In her spare time she enjoyed painting in watercolor, reading and story-telling and took a passionate role as the family genealogist, tracing her lineage to the Mayflower and beyond to Eleanor of Aquitaine. She would say her greatest contribution was as a mother and grandmother.

Remaining to remember her and celebrate her life are Elizabeth A. Karcher and her husband Arthur A. Cohen, Esq., Sen. Ellen M. Karcher and her husband Dr. John L. Hochberg and Timothy Q. Karcher, Esq. and his wife Roberta K. Karcher; her grandchildren Alex Cohen, Theo Cohen, Benjamin Hochberg, Esq., Aviela Hochberg, Lael Hochberg, William Karcher and Henry Karcher; her siblings and their spouses: the twins Col. (Ret.) Samuel Taylor (Anne)and James (Dickie) Taylor (Gloria), Roger Taylor (Margie) and Deborah (Debbie) Shinn (Edward) and the wife of her late brother John Taylor, Frances Taylor; and a multitude of wonderful Taylor and Karcher nieces and nephews who rightly saw their Aunt Peggy as the matriarch of a large and loving extended family. Peggy leaves having enriched the life of her loving companion, John Paul Doyle.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Corner House Foundation, One Monument Drive, Princeton, NJ 08542.

The Family will receive visitors at O’Brien’s Funeral Home, 2028 Rt 35 @ New Bedford Road, Wall N.J. on Thursday, June 11, from 4:00 – 8:00 PM, followed by visitation on Friday June 12, at the Carmen F. Spezzi Funeral Home, 15 Cherry Lane, Parlin, N.J. with an internment to follow at Calvary Cemetery in Sayreville, NJ, and a Memorial Service and celebration of life on Sunday, June 14, at 4 PM at the Spring Lake Community House, 300 Madison Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ. Services on Friday are private, for family only.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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