Following a full and adventurous life, Margie Peck, 84, passed away on February 8, 2023, after an 18-month battle with cancer. The beloved mother, grandmother and friend was fierce, strong and full of fire, and her passion burned bright. Her energetic spirit was felt and recognized far and wide by family and people of all ages and walks of life. Living a colorful and enterprising life filled with many entrepreneurial successes, one theme carried through: her passion in helping people with wise counsel and building meaningful relationships throughout the journey.
Margie was born on September 30, 1938, in Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri, to John and Viola Cooksey. They had eight children, of which Margie was the youngest of the four girls. She graduated from Eureka High School in 1956 and headed to St. Louis to begin the first of many careers. Her first significant job came in 1960 in Phoenix, Arizona, as a bookkeeper for the PepsiCo Bottling Plant where she met her “porkchop,” Frank Peck. She worked there for several more years and also as a Barbizon and Queensway model, until she transferred to PepsiCo in St. Louis.
In 1968, at the age of 30, Margie married Frank. With venturous spirit, this “dynamic duo” loved to dance and laugh and knew they were on the road to many great experiences together. They made their primary residence in Michigan and became a “yours, mine and ours” family. Frank was president of the PepsiCo Michigan Group Bottlers and oversaw bottling operations for the entire state while Margie turned her attention to her four children, including time as a troop leader for Girl Scouts of America.
In 1971, the family transferred to the Philippines. While there, Margie served in both charitable and philanthropic roles including leadership positions in various community and women’s organizations. Margie was a great partner and asset to Frank in building the Philippines PepsiCo operation as her fun, imaginative and creative spirit for building relationships allowed her to throw the grandest events. Her ability to bring together government and military officials, regional community leaders and company personnel for entertaining and successful networking banquets was widely known and admired. It was in the Philippines where she developed her love for sports including tennis, golf and pelota by vigorously competing in many tournaments and quickly rising to the top ranks. She briefly tried a stint at horseback riding, but quickly decided she’d rather keep her feet on the ground!
In 1973, Frank became the manager of the Frito Lay division of PepsiCo in Dallas, Texas. Once again, they jet-setted into their next adventure. Margie developed a great friendship with Herman & Mimi Lay and was active in the Dallas community, but soon pursued a desire to start her own business. She created the Dallas North Employment Agency from scratch and realized her great abilities in business development. Success came from her knack in relationship building with applicants and companies alike. Over several years as a leader in the Dallas business community and staffing industry, Margie grew the agency from one office to two and eventually sold the business and used a portion of her gains to buy Frank his first Rolex watch.
In 1977, Frank became president of Wilson Sporting Goods in Chicago, Illinois, and off they went for adventure number five. Margie’s love for throwing elaborate dinner parties was once again in action, holding many events at their estate called Bellwood in Barrington Hills. Margie loved hosting various Wilson athletes and celebrities including John McEnroe, Greg Norman, Chris Evert, Pierre Lacoste, Patty Berg, Walter Payton, O.J. Simpson, Chichi Rodriguez, Lefty Gomez and Jimmy Conner.
In 1979, Frank and Margie moved to New York to work for PepsiCo Concentrate. The entrepreneurial spirit struck again, and she started Margie Peck’s Dolls in Stamford, Connecticut. She traveled far and wide finding rare and vintage German and French bisque dolls. She also collected and sold vintage doll clothes, antique stuffed animals and other collectibles such as Steiff bears, Madame Alexander dolls and Cabbage Patch Kids. Her doll hospital and adept ability to repair them were sought far and wide on the East Coast for restoring antique dolls to their original condition.
It was during their time in Connecticut that Margie began shopping at flea markets and trade shows throughout New England. After renting vacation homes on Cape Cod for many years, Margie found and purchased a family summer home in Brewster, Massachusetts (even though Frank wasn’t fond of the idea, she did it anyway) and the family has enjoyed more than 44 years of making memories during summers on the Cape.
Margie and Frank relocated to Marion, Illinois, for two short years in 1983 where she bred and showed Shar-Pei dogs, which she first saw and loved in the Neiman Marcus catalog. In 1985, the Pecks settled down for their final adventure in West Texas by moving to Abilene, where Frank joined ABTEX Beverage Group. Abilene is where Margie started her 37+ year career in real estate. After working for other brokers for a few years, she passed her brokerage test, and as soon as the ink was dry on her broker’s license, Margie purchased the RE/MAX of Abilene franchise in 1987. She moved into their current location on South Danville Drive with just 12 agents.
Margie relished and enjoyed her role as one of the few female real estate broker/owners in Abilene in a town full of boys. She helped pioneer and pave the way for all women in the real estate industry in our community. Through good markets and even the tough ones, Margie and her team of RE/MAX agents served their clients with the highest degree of ethics and personal service. This “Above The Crowd” attitude, as symbolized by the corporate RE/MAX hot air balloon logo, always kept their focus striving upward and intently on the customer. Through her 35 years as broker/owner of RE/MAX of Abilene, Margie oversaw the growth of the company from those initial 12 agents in one office to more than 50 agents in multiple locations and many years as the top producing agency in their franchise territory.
One of Margie’s greatest joys in the business was the relationships made with many people and the competitive sales environment real estate offers. While consistently being one of the top producing agents in town, Margie also loved mentoring agents and sharing her experience and wisdom to solve complex problems and overcoming challenges to help them grow their respective businesses and realize their goals. She was very proud when her agents obtained awards and recognition for their hard work.
Margie served on the Economic Development Board for Clyde, Texas, for many years and was instrumental in bringing several national franchises to the Clyde community. She also received numerous business and community awards and accolades over the years including 2008 Abilene Businessperson of the Year, 2010 RE/MAX Hall of Fame Member, 2016 RE/MAX of Texas Highest Fundraiser in Texas for Children’s Miracle Network, 2018 RE/MAX Vanguard Broker/Owner of the Year and coordinator for The Breakfast Optimist Club benefiting children’s scholarships.
She also served on various professional boards including the Professional Standards & Ethics Board for the Abilene Board of REALTORS and the TREPAC Fundraising Committee. Margie has served and fundraised for many various community and charitable organizations in the Abilene area and Big Country including chairperson for the Abilene Pepsi House Raffle benefitting Children’s Miracle Network, chairperson for the RE/MAX Classic Golf Tournaments benefiting Children’s Miracle Network and chairperson for the Texas Sentinels disabled veterans’ home, to name a few.
All along the way, Margie had a sharp wit, a hearty laugh and loved to keep busy with different hobbies, from crocheting to needlepoint, reading, cooking, traveling and more. She kept up with her grandkids, attended games, took them on trips and shared great stories of her venturesome life.
Margie was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Lester Peck; her oldest son, Gregory P. Peck; and her first grandson, Brandon J. Coleman. She is survived by three children: Rebecca Helms and her husband Larry Mistrot, Debra Coleman, and Frank Lee Peck and his wife, Amber; five grandchildren: Samantha Severa and her husband, Joseph Sr.; Morgan Coleman, Nick Nichol; Sutton Peck and Braxton Peck; and one great-grandchild, Joseph Severa, Jr. She is also survived by her brother, Jim Cooksey of Missouri, and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life honoring Margie will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the Church of Christ at Remington Ridge, located at 138 Remington Rd., Abilene, Texas 79602. Memorials can be made to the Children’s Miracle Network at Hendrick Medical Center.
To watch the livestreamed celebration, please follow the link below: