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Margaret "Peggy" Casarett Bruce

Margaret “Peggy” Casarett Bruce


After a long battle with cancer, Peggy Bruce passed away on July 20, 2022, shortly after her 80th birthday.  Margaret Elizabeth Goshorn was born in Petersburgh, VA, on July 3, 1942, the daughter of John and Louise Goshorn.  She and her three siblings were raised in a military family that moved frequently among postings in the United States, Europe, and Japan. She is survived by her husband, Gene;  sister, Linda;  brother, John;  son, David Casarett of Durham, NC;  daughter, Samantha Steelman of Champaign, IL; and two grandchildren, Ian and Joshua.

Peggy received the Bachelor of Arts (1964) and Master of Science (1967) degrees from the University of Rochester then moved to Hawaii with her first husband, Louis Casarett. After his death she and son David moved to Boston where Peggy obtained a Doctor of Science in Toxicology from Harvard. She married Eugene Bruce in 1975 and in 1978 they moved to Stockholm, Sweden, for post-doctoral training. Their daughter was born in 1979.  Peggy became an Assistant, then Associate, Professor in Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and later was an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology at the University of Kentucky. She was well known for her research on pediatric lung disease, publishing many peer-reviewed scientific papers and serving on several national and governmental research advisory committees. Peggy was active in promoting opportunities in science for women, and she provided valuable mentoring to female graduate students. She served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Women in Science. 

She and her husband retired to Medford in 2011.  Peggy served in multiple volunteer positions for OLLI at Southern Oregon University and co-taught several courses. After receiving her Master Gardener certification she helped others by volunteering at the plant clinic of the Jackson County Extension Service. As a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Peggy was a fervent advocate for improving the lives of children in foster care. She cared deeply about distressed and oppressed peoples everywhere and gave generously to organizations that address these concerns. In her spare time she planted and nurtured an extensive flower garden at home. Peggy was very fond of traveling and hiking; she and Gene hiked in mountains throughout the western United States and traveled and hiked extensively in Europe, Japan, and New Zealand.  

A memorial service is planned at the Perl Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. on August 31, 2022.

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Peggy was an OLLI friend who gave generously of herself as an OLLI volunteer. I admired her intellect, tenacity and commitment. Thank you Peggy for making a difference in this world!

Margaret Pashko Aug 13 2022 12:15 AM

I was looking up one of Peggy's publications and am saddened to learn of her passing. Although I never worked with her directly, we shared research interests and I appreciated her unique combination of academic rigor and kindness to others. She inspired me both as a scientist and a role model.

Steve McGowan Aug 12 2022 4:51 PM

I will always remember Dr. Peggy Bruce (or Mrs. Bruce, as I've always called her) as kind, considerate, and one of the smartest human beings I've ever known. During the course of my research assistantship with Dr. Eugene Bruce at the University of Kentucky, she was always there to help in spite of her busy schedule - be it bringing a unique perspective during our weekly discussions on research papers, or providing her encouragement when things sometimes would go unfavorably, or surprising us with lemon rice as a special treat to remind us of home. When I came to the US from India to do my masters, she was a crucial part of my support system, my family, and made me feel at home despite me being on the other side of the planet. I have always cherished the time I spent with the Bruces at UKY and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I will miss Mrs. Bruce dearly. My heartfelt sympathies to Dr. Bruce and family.

Swetha Vennelaganti Aug 10 2022 2:38 PM

Peggy and I were college classmates at the University of Rochester. I shall always remember her walking the halls of Hollister 5 in her wonderful collection of Hawaiian MuMus. It must have been quite a shock to arrive along with the snow which blanketed the campus until May. Although we spent most of our adult lives on separate coasts, I was fortunate to spend some days at her home after her move to Medford where I had the opportunity to meet Gene. More recently we also had the opportunity to share OLLI experiences, another chapter in our educational journey, The world has lost an exceptional human being,

Naomi Silvergleid Aug 10 2022 1:15 AM

During my work as Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Kentucky, I had the honor to know and work with Dr. Peggy Bruce. She not only pursued her own research on lung disease of newborn infants but also trained physician fellows and faculty. She was a straightforward, supportive and kind person loved by everyone in the department. My deepest sympathy to the family. We will remember Peggy as our favorite colleague.

Vipul Mankad, M.D. Aug 9 2022 7:53 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Margaret Casarett Bruce

Margaret Pashko Aug 8 2022 7:15 PM

I had the honor of working with Peggy during her years volunteering at OLLI. She was tireless in her volunteering and was one of those people to whom you wanted to listen. She was thoughtful and full of thought. The world is a poorer place now that she’s left us.

Pat A. Aug 8 2022 6:08 PM

I told Gene that I would miss Peggy’s intelligence and wit, both of which were so evident in our connections at OLLI. In reading this chronicle of her experiences and accomplishments, however, I realize what a lost opportunity it was not to know more about her rich history prior to moving to the Rogue Valley. I feel fortunate that she chose to spend her final chapter among us and that Gene is here to share more details of a life well-spent.

Anne Bellegia Aug 8 2022 4:32 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Margaret Casarett Bruce

Jamshed Kanga Aug 8 2022 4:07 PM

I came to appreciate Peggy Bruce during our time together on the OLLI/SOU Curriculum Committee. Peggy was passionate about the scientific method and was an ardent advocate for and against OLLI class proposals in the science category; she always took great care to ensure that the proposed course used science correctly, was backed by research, and would serve the interests of OLLI members. Peggy cared about people and she cared about accuracy, and our time together in OLLI was something I valued. She continues to be missed in the OLLI community and in the Rogue Valley, but the work she did and her personal touch carries on.

Paul Christy Aug 8 2022 2:00 PM

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