Born in southern Ohio during the 1937 flood to parents of Scottish, Irish, Flemish and Cherokee Indian ancestry, the woman who was to become Peg Gregory left Ohio in 1960 for the warmer subtropical climate of South Florida.
She always loved to sing and taught herself to play piano at the age of 9. Because she was pianist and/or organist and soloist in church from the age of 14 (this continued through her 30s), she believed as a teenager her professional life would revolve around music. A serious illness at 15 turned her thoughts toward nursing and she became a registered nurse, instead.
In her fiction writing, she draws on 47 years of interesting experiences from that life as a nurse in fields as diverse from one another as can be imagined. For the first eighteen years of her professional life, she was a head nurse in general hospitals in Ohio and Florida. She worked as a college nurse in West Palm Beach and Lake Worth. A ship's nurse working out of the ports of Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach and sailing to exotic ports in eastern and western Caribbean and the Virgin West Indies, she played congas in calypso bands to relax during her off-duty hours. She worked on a team to diagnose, evaluate and determine services for the developmentally disabled in a five-county district on the Florida east coast. In a Virginia veteran's hospital, she was proud to serve as a charge nurse in a neuro-rehab unit helping veterans of all the wars, including the first Iraq War. She was the first nursing supervisor of tuberculosis control in Palm Beach County Health Department and supervisor in two Florida state tuberculosis hospitals. Her last tour of duty was with Hospice of Palm Beach County.
Also a social worker, Peg left nursing for a time, after working on three task force units to get a rape crisis center in Palm Beach County. She became acting coordinator and paralegal counselor of the long-awaited sexual assault program under the state attorney's office. She was a frequent speaker on the subject of sexual assault and its prevention at public forums, on radio and television and taught police sensitivity training in cases of adult and child rape and molestation. In recent years, she has held workshops on safety tips for women and children.
Before retiring from hospice nursing six years ago, she assisted in developing (and also worked on) a hospice telephone triage team, using registered hospice nurses and other trained hospice staff instead of an answering service, after having worked in an inpatient unit and on an outpatient team for Hospice of Palm Beach County.
Early in her nursing career, she had short stories published in Christian magazines and professional articles in RN magazine, under Peggy Butler.
Starfish, a character-driven novel of love, loss and redemption in Key West, is her debut novel (2003). She currently has three completed novels (character-driven mainstream women's fiction set in Key West and Chattanooga, Cincinnati and Hawaii, San Francisco and a fictitious island in the Lesser Antilles called St. Lucrecia) and chapters of a humorous Key West mystery, plus another mostly-completed novel set in Miami - all still in the computer. She has not attempted publication as of this date, choosing to concentrate on her memoir.
As a reporter, she covered the Key West City Commission meetings for five years with a regular column, The City Hall Show, for a local weekly news paper and website under Peggy Butler. She continued to report on the Key West political scene in her column, Our City Hall, on another website until there was a change with the website. Beginning May 22, 2008, Key West City Hall Report made its debut on this website. It's final column was published January 5, 2010.
Peg lost her mother to breast cancer in 1998 and was, herself, diagnosed and treated for non-invasive breast cancer in 2006, making her the third straight generation on both sides of her family to have been diagnosed with the disease. In January, 2008, she was happy to learn, especially since she is a mother and grandmother, has three sisters and numerous female cousins and nieces, she does not carry the mutant breast cancer gene. January, 2012, she learned she is a six-year survivor.
Her two married daughters, a college math instructor and a hospice nursing supervisor, live in West Palm Beach. Peg's four granddaughters, in their twenties, live in Palm Beach County and the state of Kansas. She has one toddler great-granddaughter in Palm Beach County.
Since retirement, she made her home in No Name Key, and then was in Chattanooga for a year, before returning to the Keys and living in Old Town Key West, where in addition to her writing, she was active in church ministries, especially that related to the homeless, and community affairs, until she moved back to mainland South Florida in 2010, where she is at work on her next novel, with her memoir completed and in the hands of the publisher.
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