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RIP Peggy Chun

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

Hawai'i's most prolific and beloved watercolor artist, Peggy Chun, succumbed today to ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

She was diagnosed with the disease in 2002.

As the disease took its toll, she did not allow it to stop her creativity. Always seeing the best in life, she said she was "living with, not dying of, ALS." She continued to paint.

In 2003, when she lost the use of her right hand, she painted with her left. In 2004 a weakened left hand sent the brush to her teeth. When she was fully paralyzed, a computer allowed her to paint with her eyes. "After all," she said, "you don't paint with your hands, you paint with your heart."

Born in Lawton, Okla., Peggy moved to Hawai'i in 1968. She taught school and owned a successful Christmas ornament company. When her twin sister and noted artist, Bobbie Segler, died of ALS, Peggy was inspired to paint. Her work is featured in fine art galleries in Hawai'i and in private and corporate collections across the globe.

Her husband, Elroy Chun, son Eric and a large, loving family have supported her through the years of building her career as an artist and the years of continuing her success against all odds. For six years Peggy was encouraged and assisted in her artistic endeavors by a now nationally famous group of friends and volunteers called the Peg's Legs.

Celebrating an early Thanksgiving with hundreds of friends, Peggy's husband Elroy, said, "Peggy, if we have become more tolerant and forgiving, we owe much of that change in ourselves to you. May Akua prepare your heavenly journey with blessings richly deserved upon taking residence in your new abode. We love and will dearly miss you."

Mary Margaret "Peggy" Richard Chun is survived by:

Husband: Elroy Chun;

Son: Eric Keala Chun, daughter-in-law Jessica Kimi Chun, granddaughter Indiana Anuhea, grandson Sawyer Kumula'au;

Daughter: Leslie, son-in-law Stuart Streuli, granddaughter Hanalei of Newport, R.I.;

Step-son: Bruce Akoni Yong, wife Briar, step-granddaughter Makena of Santa Barbara, Calif.;

Nephew: (son of Peggy's twin sister) Jason Segler, wife Jennifer, grandnieces Jade and Cian, Honolulu;

Nephew: Damon Segler, wife Desiree, grand nephew Dillon;

Niece: (daughter of Peggy's twin sister) Tina Segler, grandniece Molly;

Father: Joseph Richard, stepmother Sara of Lawton, Okla.;

Brothers: Joseph Perry "J P" Richard, John Richard, Peter Richard of Oklahoma; Matthew "Matt" Richard of Tacoma, Wash.; Michael Richard of Colorado Springs, Colo.;

Sister: Camille Richard Fox, husband Joseph, son Silas of Lake City, Colo.;

Peggy is also survived by the famed Peg's Legs 'Ohana of caregivers who served for six years as Peggy's arms, legs and best friends.

One of her works, "Manoa Stream", is a place most people who live in Hawai'i have visited and hiked. I think it represents her spirit the best. Like Peggy, no storm could weather its beauty, and keep the essence from deep inside from flowing out and touching everything and everyone who ever comes across it in ways they'll never forget.

God Bless you, Peggy. Now you can paint the stars from up close. Aloha.



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