GOLDSBORO – Peggy Ann Overman Denning, 85, passed away at her home on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Born June 3, 1935 to Guy and Ona Overman, she was raised on “Overman Hill” in Grantham and southern Wayne County, North Carolina, a place where she lived – and loved – all of her life.
She graduated from Brogden High School in 1953 but spent her junior year at Grantham High School. It was there that she met a dashing young man named Frank Denning. Though she went to East Carolina University for a time, Frank convinced her to marry him in September of 1954.
In addition to helping her husband farm and working as a homemaker in her early years of married life, she joined the R.G. Barry Corporation in 1972. She was proud to be in the business of making bedroom shoes until she was presented with the opportunity to go back to college and finish her degree in 1991. She loved being a non-traditional student and learning so much that not only did she finish her associates degree from Wayne Community College in 1993 but she went on to complete her Bachelor’s of Social Work from East Carolina University – where she triumphantly walked across the graduation stage in 1994 at the age of 59.
She then went on to work at Wayne Memorial Hospital as a social worker in the dialysis care unit for several years. But her greatest calling was serving as a social worker to countless patients and families facing the end of life at the Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Goldsboro. She spent over eight years providing limitless counsel, support, conversation, hugs, tears and smiles to all she encountered.
No matter what – Peggy’s life was always filled with showing love to others. For her – that was not only a way of life – but a full on demonstration of her strong faith. She was a longstanding member of Providence United Methodist Church. And while there weren’t many Sunday mornings where she wasn’t seated in “her” pew – up close to the front – she was also a leader in many other ways. In addition to teaching Sunday School for over 30 years, she served as lay leader, president of the United Methodist Women, chair of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee and many other committees, workgroups and projects of giving to the community.
She was an avid sports enthusiast and the No. 1 fan of the UNC Tarheels, Washington Nationals and any team her grandchildren were playing on. If you’ve never experienced the joy of screaming at the TV or referees with Peggy – you’ve actually not had a full sports moment.
Above all else – her family was her pride and joy. Nothing made her happier than family meals shared together with “all of her chicks together in one nest.”
An outgoing, friendly spirit to all she met, she will be lovingly remembered as one of the sweetest and most giving people on the planet.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Sherry Denning; daughter, Frankye Graham; son, Phillip Denning and Jeanette Jackson; son, John D. Denning; her grandchildren, Kris and Amber Denning, Kasey and Mike Lane, Kelly and Whitney Hughes; great-grandchildren, Allie Lane, Karlie Lane, Mazie Hughes and Greyson Denning. In addition to her husband Frank, who died in 2010, she was preceded in death by her brother, David John Overman, by her son-in-law, Henry Graham, and grandson, Matthew Graham.
The family are being served by Seymour Funeral Home at 1300 Wayne Memorial Dr, Goldsboro. A worship service and celebration of life was held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 8 at Providence United Methodist Church in Goldsboro.
Those seeking to honor her life are asked to consider memorial gifts be made to Kitty Askins Hospice Center, 2402 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27534.