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Memorials: Honolulu Friends Meeting

Peggy Broderick

Date of birth

Dec. 29, 1939

Date of death

Oct. 29, 2022


Honolulu Friends Meeting

Memorial minute

Bob Broderick spoke of Peggy, his wife of 61 years, as his “precious bundle.” They were married at St. Clement’s on October 11, 1961. She was 22, and he had just returned from training in the Army Transportation Corps.

Her mother, Katie Kortschak, was one of the original members of the Quaker Meeting in Honolulu. They met regularly in various places before Honolulu Friends obtained a permanent home in Manoa. Her father, Dr. Hugo P. Kortschak, was a prominent scientist who discovered the existence of an alternative pathway of photosynthesis in sugarcane. And her grandfather, also named Hugo, was a famous violinist and for many years head of Yale’s Violin Department before moving to Hawaii upon retirement. Peggy was a blend of Austrian, Jewish, German and Dutch.

Peggy knew several languages: French, German, Russian, and some Dutch from listening to her grandparents. She herself was an accomplished cellist, a National Merit Scholar, and Phi Beta Kappa member.

After marrying, Peggy and Bob moved to France for his tour of duty there. They returned to Hawai‛i where Bob worked in the sugar and machinery industries on the Big Island, Maui, and finally back on O‛ahu. Along the way they had four children.

Through all the years, Peggy remained a Quaker full of unfailing kindness, generosity, unselfishness and caring. During the Vietnam War years, Bob was activated to serve while Peggy managed work and children. Later she also earned two master’s degrees. She found her calling in social work. She worked at Catholic Social Services and created a business “Options for Elders” in Mo‛ili‛ili employing dozens of caregivers to help local families care for their elderly at home. Her first office was a home closet.

At the same time, Peggy was an active, astute, and cherished participant in Honolulu Friends Meeting. She served many years in the Finance committee, the Care & Counsel, Worship & Ministry and Nominating committees, both as member and clerk. She was Clerk of Meeting Ka Makamaka Page 16 for the 1999-2000 fiscal year. More recently, House & Grounds committee was the benefit of her loving care.

Quoting from a eulogy given by her son, Richard, “But as you know kindness must never be mistaken for weakness. While tiny in stature she had a formidable will and – when called on – fiery determination:

Could she be a little girl - reading in the dark under a shaft of illumination from painted lightbulbs - in the basement during air raid drills while Honolulu was blacked out during WW II? She was.

Could she be a teenager just up the street at Stevenson, in a yellow dress with a radiant smile, capturing forever the heart of a boy who would love her all the days of her life? She was.

Could she be a young mother, raising two children alone, pregnant with a third when the Army took her husband to Vietnam? She was and she did.

Could she lose a beloved sister too early and learn to live with painful loss? She did.

Could she walk amongst protesters at Tiananmen Square just days before tanks rolled in? Mom was there in 1989 and yes she did.

Could she - with ferocity out of all proportion for someone 63 inches tall - get a tow truck driver -- who had already hooked and hoisted her car up -- to take it down --- and give her car back? Yes she really did. Somewhere out there is a tow truck driver who still quivers at this memory.

Do you think she could walk all the paths of this life, all the near, far, distant and familiar places, all the miseries and joys, weather all the storms of time and tide that life could send to her shore and endure and thrive and love? She did.”

Some of her memory and thus some parts of Peggy were lost to us in recent years. … With deep compassion and kindness in the clear blue waters of her eyes she could talk you past superficial conversations, delve into your soul, reach into your heart to advise you, help you, heal you using what we sometimes jokingly called her “social worker voice.” Much was lost and we mourn this.

Yet much remains and always will. … Her love, her fire, her spirit, her soul, her aloha and her peace, now in the hearts of her husband, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all those near and far who knew her, who will always love, remember and honor her.