Cover photo for Peggy Lee Van Wyk's Obituary
Peggy Lee Van Wyk Profile Photo
1931 Peggy 2023

Peggy Lee Van Wyk

May 15, 1931 — December 28, 2023

Harlingen, Texas

With a life as colorful and cherished as the quilts she crafted, Peggy Lee Van Wyk went to be with the Lord on Thursday, December 28, 2023.

Peggy was met at the heavenly gates in the presence of Christ by Wally Van Wyk, her beloved husband of 62 years, her parents, and her sister Pat. Peggy was the last surviving member of what she and Wally called “the group,” an inseparable bunch of fun-loving Harlingenites. Undoubtedly, these colorful, lifelong friends were there to celebrate with her too.

Peggy's journey began on May 15, 1931, in Burbank, California, born to Willie Omry Romine and Willie Katherine McLemore. Peggy grew up in Harlingen during very lean times with her mother and sister Pat, weaving a tapestry of memories and resilience.

Her smile, southern drawl, and encouraging words were always a source of joy. In high school she was involved in every imaginable social group, even being Queen Cardinal her senior year. Her meandering, epic stories were entertaining, and her kids would laugh as she recounted a grade-school report card where the teacher wrote “talks too much and annoys others.”

In the early 50s, Peggy's heart found its match in her beloved husband, Wally Van Wyk. It was touching that the date of her passing, December 28, was Wally and Peggy’s anniversary. Their love story continued with the birth of their daughter Laura Lee, three sons William Roger (wife, Karen), John Michael (wife, Sara), and Joseph, as well as six much-loved grandchildren, Hillary (husband Richard Van Gelder), William, Rory (wife Tiffany), Sarah Elizabeth (husband Caleb Truax), Sydney (husband Jordan Grier), and Caleb Lee (wife Emily). Peggy had numerous great-grandchildren, who will carry forward her tales and traditions.

The Rio Grande Valley that Peggy moved to as a young child in the 1930s would hardly be recognizable today. Her kids loved to hear stories about their mom going to South Padre Island before the causeway was built. A ferry would take her and friends across the bay, and then a giant 4-wheel drive military vehicle would transport them across to the beach. Back then, baby oil was considered sunscreen, and Peggy usually returned red as a lobster.

As the matriarch of a close-knit family, Peggy's home was a haven of love. She served others in unique and beautiful ways, such as through the breathtaking quilts she created and gifted to family and friends, some of which will be on display at her memorial service. She also blessed others with her fabulous, old-fashioned home cooking. Family members remember walking into holiday gatherings, greeted by the smell of chicken and dumplings. For years, half of Harlingen would anticipate getting a mason jar filled with Peggy’s famous spaghetti sauce at Christmas time.

Wally and Peggy traveled extensively during their 62 years together, from adventures in Mexico to quiet times in the mountains of Colorado. They created so many memories with their children, like RV trips, family trips to the beach, and weekends at hunting camps. Peggy’s touch was visible everywhere, like when she insisted on decorating her deer blind with curtains and leopard-skin wallpaper.

The most important legacy Peggy left behind was her unwavering faith in Christ. Her Bibles and devotionals were filled with prayers for others. She was always there for family and loved ones with a comforting hug and a word of encouragement.

The family invites friends and loved ones to join in a celebration of life service at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 6, at the First Methodist Church in Harlingen. The service will be officiated by Rev. Phillip Hoeflinger. Peggy's grandson, Rev. Rory Van Wyk, will deliver the eulogy.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Peggy Lee Van Wyk, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

First Methodist Church of Harlingen

321 East Harrison Avenue, Harlingen, TX 78550

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