Peggy (Margaret) Ann Linder
Nov. 14, 1935 – Oct. 30, 2021
This past weekend Homer lost an amazing and cherished member of the community.
My mom, Peggy (Margaret) Ann Linder was born on Nov. 14, 1935, in Ontario, Oregon. She passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours of Oct. 30, three weeks shy of her 86th birthday.
Many will remember her as the owner of Orca Plumbing and Heating, which she opened in 1984.
At the time of her passing, she was at home in the company of her daughter, son-in-law and all five family kitties.
Peggy was a woman ahead of her time. On May 1, 1954, when she was 20 years old, she married Fred Linder in Spokane, Washington. Our family lived all over the Pacific Northwest until we all moved to Alaska.
She was a trailblazer. She and dad drove the Alcan the winter of 1969, which as we all know, was quite the accomplishment back then. They never looked back.
Our family first landed in Anchorage where our dad Fred worked for Central Plumbing and Heating, and Peggy spearheaded multiple home building projects.
She ran all the jobs: locating property, arranging financing, ordering materials, met with inspectors, and worked side by side with Fred as they built single- and multi-family homes to supplement their income. She did not know it at the time, but all of this was building the foundation for her to feel confident enough to buy and run a plumbing shop in Homer.
A neighbor told her that sunflowers wouldn’t grow in Alaska so she grew one over six feet tall with a blossom the size of a dinner plate… Just to prove she could. She did love a challenge.
While in Anchorage, together with her my dad she built a 32-foot, all wooden boat, complete with galley and berths. The boat was named the Peg Ann, and she could moor that boat like nobody’s business.
In 1984 they moved to Homer where Peggy bought Bishop’s Plumbing and Heating and re-named it Orca Inc. Plumbing and Heating, making her the owner of the first and only 100% woman owned and operated plumbing shop in town. She did everything in that shop. From fielding service calls to the plumber’s, cutting and threading steel pipe for customers, all the purchasing, sales, stocking, hiring, paperwork, etc. She did it all, and she was amazing at it.
I bought the shop from her in 1992, and continue to run it to this day as a 100% woman owned business. The business she built has supported two generations in the family. Mom continued to work at Orca for about two years and officially retired in 1994.
In the ensuing years, she cared for her husband, grew beautiful flowers, apples, cherries, peaches and plums right here in Homer, just to prove she could. For several years she has allowed friends and acquaintances to come and pick the fruit because she was unable to do it, and she couldn’t possibly use all that fruit. She loved seeing them come to get the fruit because she was contributing to her community and that was very important to her.
Peggy was a true Alaska woman. She hunted, fished and hiked; Alaska was the perfect place for her.
She was an accomplished artist, painting Alaska wildlife with oils and acrylics. Her artistic talents extended to cooking, sewing and flower gardening. People always waited for spring to see her flowers and often commented on them when she was in the yard.
Peggy was an accomplished seamstress making many of our family’s clothes, and no one ever knew it, unless we told, which we did quite often and proudly so. Dresses, jackets, shirts, she even sewed mens pants for her husband and son.
There is nothing she would not do to help someone in need. Every year mom and dad would purchase two months worth of groceries for two families during the holidays and donate them anonymously. They did this whether they made a profit during the year or not. It was very important to them that it was a secret where it came from.
Our family would like to send special thanks to Dr. Tortora and all of the staff at the Homer Medical clinic, South Peninsula Hospital’s nurses and medical staff, Homer Hospice and all of the community members who have consistently asked about my mom for many years.
It was nearly impossible for me to go to town without at least one person asking me how she was doing.
My mom was the most exceptional woman I have ever known and she will be missed every day. I was and am honored that she was my mom.
Mom was preceded in death by her husband Fred Earl Linder, her parents John Maynard and Agnes Mae Rhodes, her brother Edwin (Sonny) Maynard Rhodes, and her infant son Bjorn Lee Linder.
She is survived by her son Maynard R. Linder, her daughter Tanya Eileen Norvell both from Homer, her grandchildren Preston Maynard Norvell in Seattle, Washington, Sung K. Linder, Arwyn Linder, Gryffyn Linder all from Homer, and great granddaughter Ashlie Emberlyn Caster from Seattle, Washington.
Mom requested that no services be held, and in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Homer Hospice in her name.