Margaret Packard Rhein
February 26, 1907 August 19, 1994
On August 19, 1993, Margaret (Peggy) Packard Rhein died from natural causes at Pennswood Village in Newtown PA where she had lived with her husband the late Reverend John Hancock Willing Rhein since 1982. She was born on February 27, 1907 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Margaret Horstmann and Francis Randolph Packard MD; educated at The Shipley School and Drexel Academy and married John Rhein in 1927. The Rheins began their married life in Buffalo New York where John was employed by the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company in the cellophane plant. While there she had a severe case of scarlet fever and almost died. On July 22, 1929, she had her first child Margaret (Rita). The family moved to Richmond VA that year where John, still with DuPont, was assigned to the Spruance Rayon plant. On August 8, 1931 their second child, John H. W. Rhein III was born. In Richmond Peggy, an accomplished librarian volunteered for work at the Hart Museum and typed braille books for the blind. In 1938 the Rheins were transferred to the then new DuPont Nylon plant in Seaford Delaware. There Peggy led a rich social life and was a caring mother for her two children. She was a skilled knitter and made many sweaters and socks for her family and for the war effort. She was also a gifted artist and worked on country tin stenciling projects. Things changed for Peggy when, in 1962 her husband retired from the DuPont Company to become an Episcopal minister and start a second career. She worked with John as his secretary, typing his weekly sermons and handling the many details of a minister’s commitment. By the time John became a minister their children had grown up: John was married in 1953 to Phyllis Betz of Garden City NY and Rita was married in 1954 to Gerrard Williams a Philadelphian. The Rheins moved from their home in Nanticoke Acres, Seaford and built a house on seven acres on the banks of the Nanticoke River in Woodland Delaware. There they lived comfortably until in the early seventies when John retired and moved to Saunderstown Rhode Island. They had planned to spend the rest of their lives there, however John’s health began to fail, and they moved to Pennswood a retirement community where they could receive immediate care if needed. Peggy survived her husband by ten months.
Peggy was a model wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and “partner” and loved by her many friends and relations. A disciplined lady she kept a diary all through her life. She enjoyed
reading and walking. Peggy will always be remembered for her kindness and sensitivity. She “lit up the room” when she entered. She left her: children, Rita Williams and John Rhein; grandchildren Rhoades, Peggy Williams and Ann Cuneo, Susan Dubowski, Deborah Stevenson and John Rhein IV; and great-grandchildren Nicholas Dubowski; Kent Williams and Sarah Wilkes.