Pioneering Letter Carrier, labor leader Peggy Hoff dies


Belleville – Margaret H. “Peggy” Hoff, 69, Belleville‘s first woman mail carrier and a beloved and respected union leader, died on Feb. 5.

She was honored by the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council at its February meeting. She was a longtime member of the Council and had served as sergeant-at-arms.

“Any time you had some tickets to be sold, she was there,” said Joe Eble, executive recording secretary and a delegate for Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 1272.

“If you had other stuff to be done, she was there,” he added. “She was just a good old soul. We’ve missed her the last few years.”

The former Margaret Hayden was born July 23, 1945, in East St. Louis. She graduated in 1959 from St. Phillip’s Grade School and in 1963 from St. Teresa Academy in East St. Louis.

Peggy Hoff worked for four years at National Auto Supply in East St. Louis and then worked for more than 30 years for the U.S. Postal Service, becoming Belleville’s first female mail carrier. She retired on Jan. 2, 2008.

She also was the first woman to serve as shop steward and vice president of National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 155. In 1992, she was the Council’s Labor Woman of the Year.

Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association. The Council voted to make a $100 donation in her honor.

Her husband, Robert C. Hoff, preceded her in death, as did her parents, Henry “Mike” and Mary Hayden, plus three brothers and three sisters.

Surviving are a son, Stephen Hayden of Belleville;
two step-sons, Robert Hoff of Burkeville, IL, and Curt Hoff of Waterloo, IL;
two step-daughters, Jeanne Swaney of St. Louis and Janine Brown of Waterloo, plus 12 grandchildren and
five great-grandchildren, and two brothers, Robert Hayden of Collinsville and Daniel Hayden of St. Louis.

The funeral was held on last month at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home in Belleville. Burial was at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Fairview Heights.

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