the Greater Portland Area
Costumers' Guild


Peggy Kennedy

Born 16 December 1929 - Died 13 December 2000

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For those who didn't know her well, she was oftentimes an enigma, first appearing prim and proper and then turning about into more than a bit of a bawd. Her creative sense came forth in a number of different ways. She was a costumer par excellance, a gourmet cook, a musician, and a writer.
She loved her cats, her friends, her family, and her husband who passed away almost six years ago.
She was also a very logical, science-minded individual which can be evidenced by her business career.

Margaret (Peggy) W. Kennedy, nee Wiener, died three days short of her 71st birthday from cancer.
Family and friends will attend her internment and wake on January 6, 2001.

Peggy Wiener was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, and grew up in the Boston area. She attended Tufts University, was a Sigma Xi, and earned a degree in chemistry. Between labs, she hung around the Theater, conveniently located right next to the Chemistry Building and managed to get elected to the honorary dramatic society. Following a year in England, she earned a masterís degree in Biochemistry at Boston University, where Isaac Asimov, a Reader on her Masterís thesis, wrote mildly improper limericks for her during dull seminars. She moved to Chicago where she attended, in 1962, her first World Science Fiction Convention, ChiCon 3, and there met her future husband, Patrick (Pat) Kennedy. Their marriage lasted happily until Patís death in 1995.

For over 30 years of her career, Peggy carried out basic research on steroid hormones, supported by grants from NIH and the Atomic Energy Commission. She obtained a Ph.D. in Toxicology from Albany Medical College and worked as a forensic toxicologist in the New York State Police Crime Laboratory where she analyzed tissue specimens for drugs and poisons, and testified in court as an expert witness. She worked there until her retirement in 1992.

Both Peggy and her husband Pat were well known at Science Fiction conventions in the costuming and masquerade competitions. She co-wrote, with Pat, the definitive book on running masquerade competitions known as the Kennedy Compendium. She received the International Costumers' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. Peggy competed and won in the Master Division, was Masquerade Director for three WorldCons and several regional and local cons and was a Judge or Workmanship Judge at many WorldCons, CostumeCons and local cons. In 1997, she produced her last WorldCon Masquerade.

The Founding President of the Greater Portland Area Costumers' Guild, Peggy had been a member of the International Costumers' Guild for many years and was a lifetime member of the ICG's NY/NJ chapter, the Sick Pups.

Peggy also had a lifelong love of music. She played the piano and sang, singing in many choral groups including her church choir, The Masterworks Chorus in New Jersey of which she was a founding member, the Worcester Festival Chorus, directed by Sarah Caldwell, as well as other classical groups.

In 1988, she competed in and won the Jeopardy! Senior Tournament - Alex Trebek mentions her in The Jeopardy! Book.

She also traveled extensively, to England, France, Mexico, Germany, Egypt and when a child in the 1930s, to Beijing, where her father, Norbert Wiener was a visiting professor at Tsing Hua University. An biography about her father, a noted mathmetician and leading authority on cybernetics, is being finished and will be published soon. Peggy had begun making plans to visit China again when she became ill.

Cats were a big part of her life. There were never less than two and often more in her home. Waiting on numerous Siamese was a love of hers; naming them was a joy. Her last three cats were Theseus (who died in August), Zhenxi and Ieyasu (now cared for by a fellow costumer).

Survivors include her sister, Barbara Raisbeck, and Barbara's five children, Peggyís nephews and nieces.

Peggy and Pat moved to Portland, Oregon in 1992. She and Pat joined with local convention-runners working at OryCon, Oregonís annual Science Fiction convention. She was also a member of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church.

For the last five years, Peggy was a member of the Portland Writerís Group, a Science Fiction and Fantasy critique group. As a writer, Peggy had completed two fantasy novels and was working on the third of this trilogy. Her first novel, Dragonís Clutch is being published by a small publisher in Eugene, Oregon. For information on ordering her book, the information will be posted as soon as it is available at the OSFCI web site - Peggy wanted to help other writers and set up all proceeds from her book to go to the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, an emergency medical fund for Northwest writers. It is suggested that all remembrances go to this fund.

The majority of this tribute has been written by Page Fuller, a close friend of Peggy, with input from a lot of other friends.