McQuade [Hedden], Peggy

Education after Allegheny

I was one of several students who went on the Washington Semester Program in January of our junior year.  The main focus was studying and interviewing people working in the federal government–legislative, executive, and judicial, plus the media covering Washington.  We met people with a lot of educational backgrounds, but the background that seemed most versatile was a legal one.  Since my hope  was to work in government, I decided to go to law school after Allegheny, to the University of Chicago.  As an undergraduate in political science and history, I  learned to put things together; at law school  we were taught how to take things apart.  After the less-than-stellar grades from my first quarter, I relaxed and did not worry about making law review.  The three years were a helpful experience, and when I first went to Chicago in 1967, it was the furthest west I had ever traveled.  Besides getting a law degree, I hoped I to get to travel as far west as California.  (I did get to Taos, NM, and Jackson, WY, on spring break ski trips, and to San Francisco exploring possible jobs.)

I met my husband at law school–he was a classmate.


In October, 1970, Jim Hedden and I were married.   His interest was in private corporate law.  Mine was in public.  We found a wonderful place and jobs in Columbus, Ohio

Where we’ve lived

We moved to Columbus, Ohio, when we got married, living in German Village, an old neighborhood within walking distance from downtown, for our first year.  The properties are skinny, and we never had any sun in the tiny backyard, so we moved to Bexley, a small city of 13,000 4 miles east of downtown.  We still live in that house.

My jobs

My husband did litigation for the  law firm  Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease–becoming a partner and retiring in  1996.  I worked for the Legislative Service Commission, a non-partisan agency of the Ohio General Assembly, from 1970-1976.  As a research attorney, I drafted and analyzed legislation.  After working on the same statutes for 6 years, I thought I was as good as I was going to get and looked to do something that wouldn’t be changing every 4 months.  So, my husband and I decided begin a family.

Our children / grandchildren

If you remember the 70’s, it was not a time of stability and predictions of a rosy future.  There was overpopulation, environmental doom, attacks on many old verities–marriage and sexual fidelity, governmental wisdom and authority, the Church, educational institutions.  So, I had to think more than twice about the responsibility of bringing children into the world.  In essence, my question was whether I could trust God for their future and mine.  Although I became a Christian at age 12, I was not discipled well, and nothing in my experience at Allegheny or Chicago helped in that direction.  But, the Lord brought many passages of Scripture to mind from my years of church attendance.  I decided that I could trust Him, and we had our daughter Kate in 1976 and son John in 1979.  The Lord has done exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or imagine.

Both our children are happily married and doing work they enjoy.  Kate and her husband David Vosburg live in Upland, CA, with their two sons and daughter, ages 8-10.  Dave is a professor of organic chemistry at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA.  Kate works 10 hours a week with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship students at Claremont University.  John and his wife Layne (Bucklen) live in Hinckley, Ohio, home of the buzzards who return every March 15.  (Not quite so elegant as the swallows coming to Capistrano, but Ohio is a down-to-earth place.)  John works for Ryan Homes.  Their three sons are ages 8-12.

Throughout my parenting years, I was able to spend time and effort in work at church.  I understudied teaching kids, taught them myself, served as an elder and on committees, and grew in knowledge and faith.  

From 1986 to 2013 I was involved with the Presbyterian Lay Committee, a group started in 1965 to work for theological fidelity and renewal within the Presbyterian Church (USA).   I met and worked with many wonderful Christians through that ministry, and I am grateful for their part in my life.


In 1976 I turned from paid employment to the rewarding and challenging work of raising children and keeping a house as a home.  My husband retired in 1996.  We were blessed with parents willing and able  to care for our kids for two weeks every year while we traveled.  In retirement, we continue to travel.  Jim likes to plan trips and to drive, so we have seen a lot of Britain and western Europe, small chunks at a time.  Early on, our travels included urban areas and museums.  The Art History course I took at Allegheny (to avoid taking the Music Appreciation G-course) served me in good stead.  I can still  observe architecture, paintings, and sculpture with knowledge and appreciation.  Our trips now are mostly to non-urban places where we can do walks in beautiful locations. (No backpacking; our favorite spots–Zermatt, Switzerland and Waterton, B. C.)

Current activities / hobbies

Aside from traveling (I have now been in all 50 states, as well as six continents), my interests lie in studying and teaching the Bible.  I have taught 4-5th graders for over 30 years–a great age because we can still do crafts and dress up but also begin to understand the truths of the faith.  I am also currently leading 4 other women in a year-long read through the Bible.  

I love all things tea.  I drank tea at breakfast at Allegheny mainly as a way to melt the butter on the cold toast (by dipping it in tea), but I started paying more attention to tea in my Washington Semester.  One of our seminars was at the Ceylon Embassy, and we were served this delicious brew in beautiful glass cups.  In law school, with the cosmopolitan resources of Marshall Fields, I started buying and tasting teas other than Salada.  Our first Christmas Jim and I received four teapots as gifts, so now I have a collection of about 90.  Plus books and accouterments.  And I look for opportunities to give small tea parties.  

Along with tea, I enjoy baking.  Having a party means I can try new recipes and not have to eat more of the leftovers than I should.

I belong to two book clubs, so that keeps me somewhat in the fiction loop, since my tastes run to non-fiction, especially American history, thanks to Dr. Knight.  The one club is a Jane Austen group–six of us.  About 8 years ago, we got together to read her work and watch  movies of the books.  After doing her six, we branched out to Bronte, Dickens, P. G. Wodehouse, and others.  We have lots of fun (and tea.)  The best book I’ve read in the last two years is The Brigade, by Howard Blum.

We visit our children, and all 12 of us gather for a week at a rented cottage on Lake Erie near Dunkirk, NY.  It is an area where my dad, our family, and our kids went.  It is low-key, but we have a theme for the week to focus food, games, and crafts.  Last year was ninjas (remember we have 5 grandsons) and Japan.  

My husband continues to enjoy planning trips.  Since his retirement he plays duplicate bridge twice a week, loves the NFL and checks out the New England Patriots each day.  (The coach is from his alma mater, and it has been a long time since Jim’s home-town Bears have done much.)  Jim helps keep the home running in  all the outside and financial aspects.

Our contact Info

Address:  409 S. Parkview Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209
Phone:  614-252-2476


Family at 2016 Lake Erie week

One Comment on “McQuade [Hedden], Peggy

Joan Corderman
Joan Corderman
06/07/2017 at 9:42 am

I never got to talk to you at reunion…loved reading your history as a fellow lawyer, mom and grandmother…yes we CAN have it all.


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