Winifred L. (Peggy) Schaake

Keith & Keith Funeral Home

On July 9, 2019, Peggy Schaake passed away peacefully, with family by her side, at Fieldstone Memory Care in Yakima.

Peggy was born in 1924 in Ventura, California, to Harry and Carabelle (Faas) Blanchard. She arrived following her sister Shirley and preceding her brother Robert Wayne. In 1938 her father’s transfer by the Bureau of Reclamation occasioned the family’s move to Ellensburg. She graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1942 and attended Central Washington State College before returning to California to enroll at UCLA to continue her music studies.

In 1945 her high school sweetheart, Don Schaake, convinced her to move to Texas where he was in flight training with the US Marine Corps. They were married June 15, 1945, the day he received his wings. Following Don’s discharge from the service he was called to take the reins of the family business, so he and Peggy returned to Ellensburg, where they devoted 63 years to their marriage and raised four children.

Peggy was born into a musical family, and her special gift was as a singer. She had a beautiful mezzo soprano voice and sang in ensembles and choirs from childhood through her adult life, and performed as a soloist for many weddings and other events. Of special importance to Peggy was her connection to Grace Episcopal Church, where she sang in the choir and was active in church leadership.

Peggy was often described as “gracious.” She had a welcoming warmth, and was an engaging conversationalist, an attentive listener.

Peggy led an active life. She enjoyed many years playing golf with Don and friends at the Ellensburg Golf and Country Club, and golf was usually part of any vacation experience. She and Don were Husky football season ticket holders for decades, entertaining many of their friends and family with a delicious tailgate followed by great seats on the 50 yard line. She was an enthusiastic fan (while also at times attempting to contain her zealous husband). They belonged to the dance club, Rigadoon, and both loved being on the dance floor together. Peggy was an avid reader and long-time member of her Ellensburg book club. She was a member of Study Club, the Wednesday Craft Group, and of the Thursday Hiking Group, which in later years became known as the Crazy Ladies, who continued to get together for picnics and other adventures, and included Peggy until she was no longer able to join in.

Peggy’s love of the arts was personal. She valued her friendships with artists and musicians, and she surrounded herself with the works of artists she knew. Her real passion was music education – she and Don provided music scholarships for CWU students, and they funded the establishment of the Ellensburg School District strings program. She served on the Laughing Horse Theatre board and has been a long time supporter of the Community Art Gallery (Gallery One). Peggy cherished her Ellensburg community and provided nearly all her philanthropic support to local causes.

Don preceded her in death in 2008. She is survived by four loving children – her son Paul and wife Terri, daughter Sidne, son Donald, and daughter Sally; grandchildren Heather Hofer (Klemens), Mark Schaake (Caitlin), Allison Gutscher (Paulo), Jean Koewler (David), Leslie Lawrence (Nick), Michael Schaake, and Jessica Brown (Jess); great-grandchildren Lukas Hofer, William Hofer, Kennedy Schaake, Henry Hofer, George Schaake, Andrew Schaake, Flora Hofer, and Amelie Gutscher (and by the end of summer Allison and Paulo and Jean and David will welcome two more).

Peggy’s family is grateful for the services of Memorial Hospice and the staff of Fieldstone Memory Care.

We are especially appreciative of the care and assistance Peggy received from Joann O’Keefe, her personal caregiver and special friend to Peggy and the family for the past six years.

A memorial service has not yet been planned.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at