Peggy M: College Professor, Community Organizer


“Sometimes people who look old are the most interesting, lively and creative people you’ll ever meet,” says Kendal on Hudson resident Peggy McLaughlin.

Peggy would know: Behind her sweet smile, warm words, and friendly disposition is a brave advocate for the poor—a community organizer and former street gang worker who lived among the people she served at a Quaker settlement house in East Harlem for many years.

“It was dangerous but we were okay,” says Peggy, who joined the Quakers (or Friends) as a volunteer after attending one of their meetings in Philadelphia. She valued the emphasis they placed on a life of service to others and was naturally drawn to Kendal on Hudson’s Quaker roots for the same reason when it came time to choose a retirement community.

A former professor at Ramapo College, Peggy and her husband resided in Rockland County for many years before moving to Kendal on Hudson. Her husband ran a number of mental health programs and had a psychiatric practice in Rockland County, continuing to see many of his patients after moving to Kendal on Hudson. The couple appreciates the opportunity of living in a continuing care retirement community with so many interesting people while continuing to carry on their many engaging life activities.

To those considering retirement options, she passes on the following wisdom: “Think about the statistics: No one is in the same shape at 80 that they were at 40, so you must plan ahead, begin to ‘de-clutter’ your home and life and start to consider alternatives; the younger you start to do this, the better,” says Peggy.

Peggy and her husband moved to Kendal on Hudson when she was 65, which was the right time for them. She likes to learn something new every day and enjoys conversing with fellow residents, some of whom are published authors of books in the Kendal on Hudson library that she has checked out and read.