Marguerite Paradise Dahl of Orleans, who was known as Peggy, died on Oct. 25, 2021 at the McCarthy Center Hospice in Sandwich. She was 83, and had faced cancer bravely.
The daughter of Marguerite Carrington Paradise and Joseph Paradise, Peggy was born on June 5, 1938 in Brooklyn, N.Y. She attended Fort Hamilton High School in Bay Ridge, N.Y., and after graduation started a 20-year career as an art director for Abraham & Straus in Manhattan. She designed the store’s display windows and configured the images for newspaper advertisements, in which she would appear from time to time.
Peggy’s granddaughter, Skyelar Carrington, marveled at seeing her grandmother’s image in ads published in the New York Times in March 1959 for a girdle and for a brand of tea.
Those years in New York City were formative, said her daughter, Kelli Dahl. She would go to parties where “crickets dipped in chocolate” were served, and while riding the subway she formed an acquaintance with Ford Models founder Eileen Ford. Some in her social circle invited her to dinners at the U.N. and for drinks at the 21 Club. From that time on, she retained her sophisticated and elegant style.
After she married James P. Goehler, a buyer for A&S, she left her job. Her first child was born in 1967 and two others arrived before she and James divorced in 1978.
Shortly after divorcing, Peg was invited by a high school friend for a visit. There she reunited with her high school sweetheart, the tall, quiet Leonard Dahl, an iron worker living at that time in Closter, N.J. They married in the early 1980s.
After Leonard retired, they relocated to Hendersonville, N.C., in the Smoky Mountains, where Peggy kept a house that, in Kelli’s words, “was always magazine ready.” With a group of friends, they traveled the world, one year visiting China, another making a tour of Europe, and another exploring South America. Peggy especially loved China, and what she saw there influenced her decorating style.
Peggy moved to Orleans in 2012, after Leonard died. She was drawn to Cape Cod by the birth, in 2011, of a granddaughter to daughter Kelli, who had moved to Provincetown in 2001. Here, Peggy performed her greatest role yet, a grandmother dedicated to the happiness of her grandchildren, Skyelar Carrington and Rayna Rose.
She would travel to Provincetown several times a week to see Skyelar, bringing with her a wonderful sense of fun, Kelli said. In an echo of her years eating crickets and posing for tea ads in Manhattan, she took her granddaughters for “Teddy Bear Teas” at the Chatham Bars Inn. She even bought a time share in Disney World for them. She did all she could to pass on to her granddaughters her sense of the fabulous.
In addition to her granddaughters, she leaves her children, Gregory Dahl and daughter-in-law Mallory of Friendsville, Tenn.; Jim Goehler and daughter-in-law Charlene of Denver, Colo.; and daughter Kelli Dahl, who now lives in Brewster.
At Peggy’s request, there will be no funeral. The family therefore asks that the “next time you enter a TJMaxx, Peggy’s go-to store, take a moment to think about Peggy Dahl and then buy yourself something fabulous.”
An online guest book for expressions of condolence to the family may be found at gatelyfuneralservice.com.