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Peggy Klineberg, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, passed away from a sudden heart attack on Sunday, November 13, at the age of 82. She was born to Douglas and Margaret Kersey in Pennington, NJ, on July 2, 1940.
Peggy met Stephen L. Klineberg, who would become her husband of 60 years, as college students in Philadelphia, when both, supremely untalented, played in the Haverford-Bryn Mawr orchestra. Married in 1962, they moved immediately to Paris, had their children at Harvard, then settled in Princeton, where she helped to admit the first group of female undergraduates to the university.
Once her children went to school full-time, Peggy, as one of only a handful of female students, began studying the law at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1972, she and Steve moved with their two children to Houston, where Steve has taught in the sociology department at Rice University for the past fifty years.
Peggy completed her law degree at the University of Houston in 1974. For most of the next five decades, she was a sole practitioner. She specialized in corporate law, with the able assistance of Elaine McWhorter, who worked with her during almost all that time.
Meanwhile, Peggy reveled in her children’s marriages. She visited her grandchildren on the East Coast every six weeks in order to ensure that she and Steve would be an enduring presence in their lives, even though they lived far away. She found her true calling in planning special trips with each of the five grandchildren when they turned 13 – to Italy, the Galapagos, New Zealand, Egypt, and Tanzania. She also organized numerous vacations with the grandchildren and children together, culminating in an extraordinary trip to Alaska in 2021.
From 2011 to 2020, all four granddaughters were undergraduates at Rice, and Peggy was thrilled to cheer their musical performances and athletic endeavors, to provide the kitchen for their stress baking, and to host their friends at countless dinners and brunches. She often said that those years with her granddaughters were the greatest gifts her own children could have given her. When her grandson, the “one who got away,” walked her down the aisle at his sister’s wedding in September 2022, she decided that was a pretty special gift as well.
Throughout her life, Peggy experienced a great many wonderful, warm, and close friendships in Houston and beyond, but her children and grandchildren were always the light of her life, the source of her greatest happiness and most lasting pride.
Peggy Klineberg is survived by her husband, Steve; her son, Geoffrey and his wife, Ursula Werner, of Washington, DC; her daughter, Kathy and her husband, Rick Edmunds, of Alexandria, VA; her five grandchildren: Julia, Anna, and Emily Klineberg, Maggie Edmunds MacIntyre and her husband, Angus, and Coles Edmunds; her brother, Jim Kersey and his wife, Evelyn, of Wilkes-Barre, PA; and by numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
A memorial reception will be held at Cohen House on the Rice University campus from six until eight o’clock in the evening on Friday, January 6, 2023.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Peggy’s memory be made to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (plannedparenthood.org) or to the Houston SPCA (houstonspca.org/donate).
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
4600 Gulf Freeway, Suite 100, Houston UT 77023
7007 Old Katy Road, Houston TX 77024