Becketwood Cooperative
An Active, Independent 55+ Community of Owners in Minneapolis

Who Are We? Series: Our Family’s Story

Who Are We? Series:  Becketwood Members are part of a diverse range of families and communities. In this ongoing series, we will get a deeper look into the lives of the Members who are willing to share their personal stories and experiences. 

This episode by John and Lyn Pegg, Becketwood Member

Lyn and I met on a blind date 58 years ago, while I was serving in the Marines, and our life journey has been anything but what we expected!  We were young (age 22), came from similar backgrounds (urban settings with businessman fathers and stay-at-home mothers), and grew up in white privileged homes and neighborhoods.  John’s heritage is 50% Scottish, as his mother’s parents migrated to Kansas City, MO in the early 1900s, and his father’s family came from England, settling in this country prior to the Revolutionary War. Likewise, Lyn’s father’s background was Scottish-English and her mother’s parents were Anglo-Irish and German, migrating to the US in 1927. Our family roots are 100% Anglo-Saxon, and more specifically “WASP” (White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant).

Since we both were products of the 1950s, our lives together were launched on a traditional and presumably stable path; that is, get a job, marry, have kids and “live happily ever after.”  Hmmph!  Well, that’s how we began, John working as a banker and Lyn as a teacher. We first lived on Long Island, NY, and then moved to Hartford, CT to fulfill the “American dream” in a lovely suburban home with our two toddlers Sarah and David, a dog and a cat.

We fell off the predictable geographic and professional trajectory when John had a spiritual awakening, went to seminary, and became an ordained minister in the U.C.C. (United Church of Christ). Over the next 20 years we moved from Hartford, to upstate NY, to Salem, MA, and to Duluth, MN, serving different congregations and making various 180 degree career shifts. We settled into Duluth in 1986, and were pleased when both Sarah and David ultimately decided that Minneapolis would be the place to live, work and raise their own families. That’s when our family moved onto a new trajectory – our mono-culture family heritage became globalized!

Sarah and David, their partners and children have broadened our horizons and our family heritage now has roots in four continents: Europe, North America, South America and Africa. Sarah and Sean adopted their two Colombia-born children when they were infants. Coincidentally, David was living in Colombia at that time and that eased the adoption process. David continued to work in Bogota and soon he and his Afro-Colombian partner welcomed our third grandchild into the family. Our grandchild roster became complete when David and his current life-partner (whose father immigrated from Uganda to Cleveland in the 1960s) gifted us with two delightful little ones. Our five grandchildren, Tomas, Charlie, Kamau, Audre, and Maya range in age from 24 – 2 years.

So here we are, settled into Becketwood with a transformed vision of our world and what the future might hold.  For we truly are all one global family.

Leave a Reply

  • Diane Prosser July 8, 2021, 4:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. As a retired UCC pastor, I can identify with parts of it. Am rejoicing with you in the lovely surprises along the way.

    • John C Pegg July 8, 2021, 10:34 pm

      Diane, are you a member here at Becketwood? We just came last Fall. I’d look forward to meeting you sometime.

      • ruthgaylord July 9, 2021, 12:51 pm

        Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I am so delighted that you are part of our community and look forward to more shared experiences.

  • David Liddle July 9, 2021, 3:57 pm

    Wow, the story of your backgrounds, growing up years, and conforming to conventional expectations sounded so much like mine I could have been reading about myself, especially when it comes to those silent but formative influences that shaped the racial identity (whiteness) I’ve always taken for granted. I’d like to think I’m breaking free of some of those constraints on my antiracism journey, but it’s a slog. Meanwhile, I rejoice in the “new trajectory” that broadened your horizons in such wonderful and life-affirming ways. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Helen Gilbert July 14, 2021, 7:41 pm

    John and Lyn, thanks for writing this. What a great story you have created! I think families like this are the best hope for eventually ending the racial animosity in the world.