Peggy Ahrens Geren
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Dr. Peggy Ahrens Geren, of Roswell Georgia, peacefully passed away on October 19, 2020, at her retirement home, Longstreet Farm, near Cleveland Georgia at the age of 97.
She was preceded in death by her parents James Elmo Ahrens and Delia Belle Vernon Ahrens; her sister, Catherine Elizabeth Ahrens Wright; and her beloved husband of 64 years, Dr. William Harrison Geren. She is survived by her daughters, Dr. Peggy Ruth Geren of Staunton VA and Delia Catherine Geren Etherington (Ned) of Roswell GA, her sons John Paul Geren of Cleveland GA and William Marion Geren of Roswell GA, her grandchildren Natalie Geren Broadnax Carver (Brian) of Staunton VA, Brook Ahrens Etherington of Decatur GA, John Martin Etherington of Decatur GA, and Diana Julia Geren Stern (Andrew) of Brookhaven GA, and her great grandchildren John Harrison Carver and Emerson Lee Carver of Staunton VA.
Peggy was born and grew up in El Dorado, Arkansas and was a lifelong learner. She attended Central Baptist College in Conway Arkansas, Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans Louisiana, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, The University of Georgia in Athens Georgia, and Georgia State University in Atlanta Georgia. During her years of teaching and raising a family, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree, a Masters Degree and a Specialist Degree in Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration.
She served as a teacher, resource staff member, and principal in the Atlanta Public Schools from 1953 until her retirement in 1991. During her tenure as principal of Burgess Elementary School during the Civil Rights Era, she achieved racial balance in her faculty and harmony among students and parents. Under her leadership as principal of Garden Hills Elementary School, the school was designated as a National School of Excellence, and Dr. Geren accepted the school's award from President Reagan at a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. Her heart and her energy were devoted to education. One of her close colleagues, Martha Bennett, described her as "an educator-not an administrator." She greeted students as they arrived each morning, and worked tirelessly to support and celebrate diversity within the school and community.
She was a member of several professional organizations and was inducted into Phi Delta Kappa. Her volunteer service included board membership on several community organizations including the YMCA and Truett McConnell University, as well as Sunday School teaching, Meals on Wheels, and the Girl Scouts.
In her retirement she enjoyed the time to channel her creative energy into oil painting and china painting. Countless friends and family enjoy dozens of pieces of jewelry, hand painted dishes, teapots, and paintings.
Our family is so grateful for the loving care she received from her close friend and caregiver Hilda Hood of Cleveland as well as Kathleen Jarrells and Pruitt Healthcare Hospice.
A memorial is being planned for family and close friends in the near future. Internment of her ashes will be in her hometown of El Dorado Arkansas some time around her birthday of July 12th (next summer 2021). At that time the ashes of her beloved husband William Geren will be interred as well.
Memorial gifts can be made in her memory to the Garden Hills Elementary School foundation, the Acorns to Oaks Foundation, to dedicate the school's new amphitheater in her name. Checks can be sent to: Acorns to Oaks Foundation 2870 Peachtree Rd. #356 Atlanta, GA 30305 or online at https://acornstooaks.ejoinme.org/GC18. Peggy was also a longtime supporter of The Carter Center and donations can also be made through their website at cartercenter.org, Ways to Give, Make an Honor or Memorial gift.