Margaret "Peggy" (Keane) Breen

October 18, 1929 ~ June 21, 2022 (age 92)


Burlington, VT - Margaret “Peggy” Breen passed away peacefully on June 21, 2022.  Born in 
1929 to Willard T. & Marguerite M. Keane in the Bronx, New York, Peggy attended Ursuline 
Catholic Schools in New York City and New Rochelle, NY, after her family moved to Scarsdale.   
She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, DC (now known as Trinity Washington 
University) in 1950.  After college she attended Katherine Gibbs School and worked as a 
secretary to various executives at Time-Life, Inc.  During this time she took several trips to 
Europe with church groups and caught the travel bug.  
           In 1955, Peggy married the love of her life, Jim Breen, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New 
York City.  Over the next six years, she gave birth to five children - four boys followed by one 
girl.  In 1964, Peggy and Jim moved into a small house in the New North End of Burlington “for 
a year or so” when National Cash Register (NCR) transferred Jim from New Jersey.  Their last 
child, another girl, was born in Vermont.  Their new neighborhood teemed with children, had a 
private beach, had good public schools nearby, and soon had Leddy Park and the Burlington 
Bike Path within a stone’s throw.  Appreciating their new home as a terrific place to raise their 
family, Peggy and Jim decided to stay.  Peggy lived in that house until just before her death, 
seeing the neighborhood grow and change over the past 58 years and cherishing the 
friendship of many dear neighbors.
           Peggy was a devoted wife to Jim, and they raised their six children in the Catholic faith 
that meant so much to them.  Peggy was a natural caretaker, enjoying raising her children and 
putting her travels aside during those busy years.  After her children were grown, she cared for 
her grandchildren and great grandchildren whenever she had the chance.  “Grandma Breen” 
was a beloved matriarch, hosting countless holiday meals over seven decades, and never 
missing a recital, game, graduation, or other event to which she was invited.
           During her later years, Peggy embarked on multiple ocean cruise trips, mostly with 
friends (Hawaii, Panama Canal, Alaska, the Caribbean) and once with Jim (Mediterranean Sea).  
And she was always eager to “tootle around” Europe, New England, New York, Canada, or 
other points with friends or family, doing her research and mapping her route with great 
enthusiasm.  She also gave generously of her volunteer time to Meals on Wheels and the 
American Red Cross.
           Peggy was predeceased by her husband, Jim, and son, Chris (Amy).  She is survived by 
her two younger brothers, Bill and Frank Keane, her three sons, Joe (Jackie McBride), Mike 
(Maureen) and Kevin (Janet) and her two daughters, Mari Palace (Josh) and Cathy (Jay Geller).  
In addition, she is survived by her twelve grandchildren and five great grandchildren.     A 
funeral mass will be celebrated on June 29, 2022 at 10:00 am at Christ the King Church.  In lieu 
of flowers, please make a donation in Peggy’s memory to UVM Medical Center Foundation, 
Courtyard at Given 3N, 111 Colchester Ave., Burlington, VT  05401. Corbin & Palmer is 
handling funeral arrangements.

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A Mass of Christian Burial
June 29, 2022

10:00 AM
Christ the King Church
136 Locust Ter
Burlington, VT 05401

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