School 14

Margaret E. (Clapp) Howland

June 6, 1927 ~ March 9, 2020 (age 92)


HEATH, MA - Margaret E. (Clapp) “Pegge” Howland, 92, of 13 East Main Street, Heath, MA died March 9, 2020 at Linda Manor, Leeds, MA. She was born in Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Northampton, MA on June 6, 1927, the only child of Horace D. and Barbara (Wood) Clapp of Easthampton, Mass.

She attended Floral Park, L.I., NY schools and graduated from Sewanhaka High School in 1946 with an Honorable Mention for her paper on Relativity from the National Science Talent Search and the Bausch and Lomb Certificate of Achievement in Science. She attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY as a President’s Scholar where she met and married David F. Howland of Oneonta, NY. She went on to graduate from Hofstra University (Hempstead, L.I., NY) with a B.A. in 1949. She received her Masters in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT in 1972 and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1979.

She and her family moved to Windsor, CT in 1952 where she began her career as the librarian at Combustion Engineering Inc. in 1957. She was later employed as librarian at the Connecticut State Library, Factory Insurance Association and the Travelers Research Center all in Hartford, CT. While in Windsor she was very active in The Windsor Jestors  Community Theater group, and was acclaimed for her leading role performances in “The Warrior’s Husband” and “Anastasia.”

In 1968 Pegge became Director of the Library at Greenfield Community College, a position she held until she retired in 1990. While there she was instrumental in founding the Archibald MacLeish Collection in 1974. She was named its Curator snd Treasurer at that time and continued to serve in that capacity until she retired in June 30, 2019. She was a member of the Special Libraries Association since 1957 and served as President of the Connecticut Valley Chapter. She also was a member of the Massachusetts Conference of Chief Librarians in Public Higher Education Institutions (MCCLPHI) since 1968 and served as its president. More recently she has served on the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA) council from 2002 to 2012. She also has served on the Pioneer Valley Institute Board of Directors from its founding in 1989 until 2008. She has been selected to appear in multiple editions of “Who’s Who of American Professional Women.”

She and her husband bought a “weekend retreat” in Heath, MA in 1963 and got involved with restoring it while still living in Connecticut. They moved to Amherst, MA in 1968 and then to Leverett, MA in 1972 where they continued their hobby of restoring old houses. They became Heath residents in 1977 when they bought and restored “Myrifield,” a famous old 15-room sanitarium. When they sold that in 2002 they refurbished the original “weekend retreat” in Heath center and have lived there ever since.

While in Heath, Pegge was active in the Heath Historical Society and served as its President for 10 years and then as Curator from 1990 until 2015. She was one of the founders of the Heath Herald in 1979 and served as its Layout Editor for 20 years. She worked as a guide at Historic Deerfield from 1995 through 2000 until health problems required her to cut back to volunteer work in the Library and the Curatorial Department until 2018.

Pegge loved collecting. She furnished her homes with Victorian antiques and developed a collection of over 1,000 pieces of Sanded Majolica much of which ended up in the Jones Museum of Glass and Ceramics, Portland, ME.

She is survived by her husband of 72 years David F. Howland of Heath, MA, their son David E. Howland and his wife Carol (Squier) of Longmeadow, MA, their daughter Martha L. H. Rose and her husband Norman Rose of Peru, NY, and three grandsons, David A. Howland and Sara (Herman) of West Hartford, CT, Mark S. Howland and his wife Johanna (Rucki) of Hamden  MA, Derek A.H. Rose of Peru, NY and four Great grand children William Henry, Graham Quinn,  James Alexander and Lauren Eve Howland.

Calling hours have been canceled due to the coronavirus. Burial Services will be private.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pegge’s memory to the Archibald MacLeish Collection ℅ Greenfield Community College Foundation, Greenfield, MA 01301 or to the Heath Historical Society, Heath, MA 01346.




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Private Interment

Church St (Shelburne Falls)

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