Peggy J. Shalabi

Peggy J. Shalabi, 75 of Sauk City, Wisconsin died unexpectedly, but peacefully at her new home in Dubuque, Iowa after spending a lovely summer evening with her family. 


She was born Peggy Jean Goltz on November 5, 1944 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the third of four children born to her parents Lloyd and Lucille Goltz. 


Peggy was an active child and was fond of sharing the fact that she was the fastest runner in her grade school.


This athletic streak led her to pursue physical education as her major in college (the first person in her immediate family to attend) first at Suomi College in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and then at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.


It was while attending UW-LaCrosse that she met George Shalabi — the love of her life — whom she would eventually marry in 1967.


After marrying, Peggy and George both found jobs in the Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin area and moved there to begin their careers and start a family. And they were life-long residents until last year when they moved to Dubuque, Iowa to be closer to their eldest daughter.


Peggy and George had two, strong adventurous daughters — Leslie and Samia who are carrying on their parents’ legacy of warmth, hospitality and joy in their own unique ways.


Peggy worked in the Sauk-Prairie school district as a physical education teacher first at the Middle School, then Madison Street school and finally Spruce Street school where she taught hundreds of kids over her 30+ years as an educator. In 1997 Peggy went back to school for her master’s degree in counseling and reinvented herself as a guidance counselor for the final six years as a teacher. 


She was very dedicated to her students and had a special place in her heart for little ones going through a hard time — whether that was something as commonplace as losing a grandparent or more complex and challenging like abuse and neglect.  For a short time, she volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate to help represent children involved in difficult custody or legal situations with their families.


As years went on, she never tired of running into her students or kids of her students or grandkids of her students while out and about in the community — the inevitable legacy of someone who teaches for so long in a small community.


She maintained very strong friendships with many women throughout her life that brought her meaning and great joy. 


Peggy loved lots of things: colby cheese, supper club fish fries, reading, coffee with her girlfriends, travel, her “snow crown”, the cabin in Mountain, Wis., the Anna Maria Island gang, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Franzia Crisp White wine, sewing, Jeopardy, sitting on the porch, her foster cat, flowers, and her daughters and of course, her husband.


What she didn’t really love all that much were snakes and she was famously afraid of them, which was fodder for lots of funny family stories through her years living in rural Wisconsin.


Peggy had her fair share of health challenges over the years — breast cancer, double knee replacement and later in life COPD, which made breathing and getting around challenging and put a lot of strain on her heart. 


And she lost her beloved husband George just six months ago in January 2020 — which also put a lot of strain on her heart, and it finally gave out, quickly and painlessly in the night. 


Peggy is survived by her two daughters Leslie Shalabi (Mike Muench) of Dubuque, Iowa and Samia Shalabi (Jack Williams) of Madison, Wisconsin and Bali, Indonesia. As well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and many life-long friends. 


She was preceded in death by her parents Lloyd and Lucille and her siblings Kaylene, Helen and Bob, her niece Michelle and nephew Todd, as well as her husband of 52 years, George Shalabi.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Hope House of South Central Wisconsin (720 Ash St., Baraboo, WI 53913), an organization providing support to victims of domestic and sexual abuse.


Because a traditional memorial service is challenging right now, the family is planning an outdoor reception with light refreshments at the east pavilion in Marion Park in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin on Saturday, August 15, from 2 pm to 5 pm. Friends are welcome to stop by to for a visit with masks and social distancing encouraged. Remembrances are being shared at 2:30 pm, please bring your memories of Peggy to share with us. 


Online condolences for Peggy’s family may be left at

Outdoor Reception

East Pavilion in Marion Park
145 1st Street, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, 53578
August 15th, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

11 comments on “Peggy J. Shalabi
  1. Debbie Stamler says:

    Though I didn’t know your mother, after reading the beautiful obit about her I could tell that anyone in her circle of life was extremely fortunate. I would have liked to have been a friend.

    I am so sorry for your loss! May your waves of grief be followed by warm comforting memories.

  2. Mary Dickey says:

    Dear Leslie and Samia and families,
    I was so sorry to read of your mom’s passing. My letter to her after your dad’s death was returned, as I wasn’t aware they had moved. Please accept Walter’s and my deepest condolences at your loss. They were both fantastic humans and will be missed.

  3. Nancy Appleyard says:

    I was sorry to hear of Peggy’s death. She and George were always ready with a quick, engaging smile and interested in what was going on in my life.

    Peggy and I got to know each other much better when I was serving as her long term substitute teacher at Spruce Street Elementary School. Because I had never done much teaching of k-2 children. I relied on her weekly guidance and expertise from her home as she recuperated. One weeks’ lessons centered around the Olympics that were being televised nightly. I remember her saying how children love the pageantry of sports. She suggested the children marching around the gym in brightly colored pinnies and waving flag football pull ribbons to the music of Rockie. The classes that week all began and ended on that exuberant note. That was Peggy…exuberant, fun-loving, and spreading the joy!

    Peggy was a delight to learn from and to know. She will be missed by me and many others.

  4. Barb Olson says:

    Dear Samia and Leslie,

    I was so sorry to hear of Peggy’s passing, so soon after your Dad. Although I was less well acquainted with her than George, I was always impressed by her kindness and by your parents obvious devotion to each other. May her memory be a blessing.

  5. Jean Unverzagt says:

    I was sorry to read of Peggy’s death and to learn of your father’s passing in January. My husband worked at Badger and we enjoyed so much the dinners we shared along with George and Peggy. She loved to talk about her girls. I will keep you in my prayers.

  6. Cliff and Cindy Thompson says:

    I worked with Peggy for several years at Spruce St School. Peggy was delightful, humorous and kind to all. I enjoyed her warm and mischievous smile. Our sympathies go out to you.

  7. Barbara Mattei says:

    Natalli and I were so saddened to read of your mom’s death, especially so soon after your dad’s passing. The four of us (your parents, Jim and I) had some great times over the years–not just the Badger functions, but golf, trips, fish fries, parties and family events when you girls were younger. I was just waiting for the pandemic to fade so Talli and I could come visit her in Iowa. It would have been a fun time, just like all the others. She will be missed. Our hearts go out to you.

  8. Mike Merlet & Family says:

    Dear Leslie & Samia,

    I was very saddened to hear of your Mom’s passing. While reading her obituary I found out that your Dad passed earlier this year and I had no idea. You guys were like family to us as we grew up in the Sauk Prairie area as we got together quite often. My mom and Peggy were obviously very close friends and I remember the times we were with your family fondly. Your parents were both great people and like 2nd parents to us growing up. Please accept my condolences for both as our family will keep you in our prayers.

  9. Carol Hemesath says:

    Peggy, we have learned to love your daughter and her genuineness. May you now be in full creativity and life!

  10. Michael Hayes says:

    My condolences to the family of Peggy Shalabi. I only knew her briefly as we shared some fun listening to the music on Thursday nights in front of the Convivium house. I pray that your pain is lessened by the wonderful memories of your life with her.

  11. Khalil Shalabi says:

    Very difficult to hear about Auntie Peggy. You were the kindest soul who was always welcoming, especially, for one whole summer in Sauk City that I still remember fondly. We will miss you.

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