Margaret A. “Peg” Grinder

February 27th, 2021

Margaret Ann Grinder (Fletcher), “Peg”, age 88, a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on February 23, 2021.

Peg was the beloved wife of Richard H. “Dick” Grinder, Jr., loving mother of Richard H. Grinder, III, his wife Mary (Pergola) & her son Scott (Long), and Ellen B. Grinder all of Wilmington, cherished daughter of the late Leslie S. and Alice (Tattrie) Fletcher, dear sister of Elizabeth “Betsy” Adams, the late Allen Fletcher and Harriett Portrude. She is further survived by her nieces, nephews, friends, and grandkitties.

Peg was born in Davenport, Iowa, on August 8, 1932. She was raised in a Military family and considered an “Army Brat” who moved all over the country, which granted her the opportunity to shake President Roosevelt’s hand in third grade. She enjoyed roller skating, dancing, horseback and bike riding, and swimming. Peg was very bright and well read; with a professed preference for playing bridge over studying. She graduated from South Side High School in Rockville Center, NY and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Math from the University of Virginia, formerly Mary Washington College.

Peg married the love of her life, Richard “Dick” Grinder on November 27th, 1954 while he was stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas. Originally a set up between their parents who both had ties to West Point, the couple moved to several duty stations in and out of the country throughout their early married life. Peg was a devoted military wife and stay at home mom for this early chapter. Dick resigned from the Military and they settled in Wilmington around 1968, where they continued to raise their two children, Richard III and Ellen.

Peg quickly became an active member of the Wilmington Congregational Church where she taught Kindergarten Sunday School for many years before taking on the position of the Church Clerk for more than 25 years. Peg enjoyed being involved in the Church talent shows, attending church retreats with Dick, and enthusiastically appreciated the talents of the Congregational’s vocal and bell choirs. She also assisted with many Blood Drives, was a Red Cross Gray Lady for several years, and helped with their annual 4th of July Booth on the town common.

Peg and Dick loved the town of Wilmington (choosing it after visiting the library), where they put down roots and made many long-time friends. Peg busied herself with community projects, volunteering when she could, and served as a substitute math teacher for the Wilmington Public Schools. Peg had lots of fun with community events over the years, and she and Dick were members of the Skirts and Flirts Club, where they enjoyed square dancing.

Peg’s combination of remarkable work ethic and fun personality served her well as she transitioned from a SAHM to a working Mom. Originally employed by Photon, Dymo, and Xyvision as a marketing administrator, she found her beloved job at the Donna Miceli Dance Center in Tewksbury, earning the special title of Grande Dame! Peg loved the DMDC, and thoroughly enjoyed the families there. She ran the office for many years, always taking the time to peek in on (and oftentimes heckle) her daughter Ellen while she taught classes. Peg was an instrumental part of the administrative side of recitals and numerous dance company projects and reveled in the day-to-day operations of the studio. She was warmly welcomed into the DMDC community and served like a beloved second (grand)mother to the dance family there.

Peg lived and loved fiercely with a mischievous streak and wicked sense of humor. She was compassion personified; Peg put other’s needs before her own and led by example. Her thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and generosity were unparalleled. Truly one of a kind, she will remain in the hearts of all those who had the honor of loving her back.

Family and friends will gather for Visitation at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Tuesday, March 2nd from 4:00 -6:00 p.m. Masks are required in the funeral home. For family and friends who need a remote option, you are welcome to join us virtually from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. You can find the link on Peg’s memorial website:

In lieu of flowers the family has established the “Peg being Peg” Memorial Fund helping local dancers in need of support, please consider a donation or committing a random act of “PEG-ness” in her honor. More information can be found on her memorial website:


11 Entries in Guest Book for “Margaret A. “Peg” Grinder”

  1. Rick Barry says:

    Ellen, i’m Saddened with the passing of your mother. I am in Florida and travel is difficult on account of the pandemic. I hope your dad is taking the passing of your mom as well as could be. I worry about him and think of your parents often. I’m sure you’re very proud of them. Please give him my condolences.
    Rick Barry

  2. Carol Trout says:

    So very sorry to hear this. Prayers for Dick and all of you through this very difficult time. Will definitely do an act of “Pegness”. Blessings.

  3. William J. Ross says:

    I have a lifetime of good memories with Peg and Dick Grinder.
    They were an example of how life should be lived.
    I loved Peg and she will be missed.
    Your dear friend always, Bill Ross

  4. Bob Whitebone says:

    Peg will always be missed..Spent time over the years helping Peg to get her computer issues resolved and enjoyed talking with her and Dick..
    Yours in Christ,

  5. Brenda Carta says:

    There are no words to say how sad our family is with her passing. So, so many fond memories especially through our church connection, teaching Sunday School, attending Ellen’s recitals, sundaes at Friendly’s. She was so proud of her children and dearly loved by hermany friends. Our love, wishes for His peace, comfort, grace and mercy be with the family. Hope the Lord’s Blessings help you be strong and heal.

    In Christ’s name and much love & hugs,

    Frank, Helen, and Brenda Carta

  6. Alice and Bob Gosse says:

    We remember Peggy fondly. She was a dear friend and a pillar of the Congregational Church. She had a kind heart and will be missed. We send our love to the family.

  7. Barbara Buck & Elaine Bertwell says:

    Sorry for your loss.

  8. Steven Sica says:

    Very sorry for your loss! Lovely woman who will be missed. From my family to yours, our deepest condolences.

  9. Mary Roberts says:

    Richard, so sorry for your loss.
    I know that you and your Mom were very close. May she Rest In Peace.

  10. Liz Harriman says:

    Dick, so sorry to hear of Peg’s passing. My heart goes out to you, and I will definitely do a random act of “Peg-ness” in her honor!

  11. Frank West says:

    Karen and I send our deepest sympathies at the passing of Peg. We have fond memories of Dick and Peg on the Town Common taking photos or video on the Fourth of July for WCTV. God bless the Grinder family now and always. Karen and Frank West

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