Peggy "PT" Toncray Kizzia
02/28/1927 - 03/03/2024

Peggy Toncray Kizzia, 97, a former longtime resident of Summit, NJ, died peacefully at her home in Chatham on March 30, 2024.

Known to many of her friends as PT, she raised three children in Summit and then started a 20-year career as a teacher of elementary-age deaf and learning disabled students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District. She was also active in local theater and Presbyterian church affairs.

PT was born Feb. 28, 1927 in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where her father was chief engineer for the Hudson Motor Company. Her childhood summers were spent at family cottages on Lake Erie and in the Michigan northwoods near the Black River.

She received a communications degree in 1949 from Northwestern University, where she was in the Delta Gamma sorority. In her senior year, she met her husband, Joe Kizzia, a bright Arkansas farmboy studying journalism under the GI Bill. They married in 1950 in Grosse Pointe.

After living for short periods in Chevy Chase, MD and Wilmette, IL,  they moved to Summit in 1957. She remained busy in the community through her years of parenting, seeking ways to be of service. After several years in Summit, she was chair of the YWCA Winter Market.

In 1962, when their children were 10, 9 and 4, PT and Joe decamped to Malaga, Spain for a year of family adventure.

Back in New Jersey, PT was an ambulance driver for the Summit First Aid Squad for five years beginning in 1966 — striding around the house in her white ice-cream vendor suit and racing out the door when summoned by the shrill cry of the “plectron.”

She helped produce plays at the Summit Playhouse and served a number of roles at Central Presbyterian Church, including, from 1986 to 2000, as director of live telecasts of Sunday services.

With her three children approaching college age, she went back to school herself, getting a master’s degree in learning disabilities from Seton Hall to reinforce her work as a resource room teacher at the South Mountain School and Clinton School. She took a sabbatical to London and personal trips to Poland and Kenya.

In retirement, PT and Joe traveled extensively in the U.S. and Canada. In 1991 they drove a camper van to Alaska, and PT did all the driving, except, as Joe liked to point out, in one parking lot in South Dakota. They also frequently visited their cottage on a pond in North Swanzey, NH. They moved to Chatham Township in 2000.

They celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2000. Joe died in 2008.

In 2012, PT suffered a stroke and was partially disabled after that. For 12 years, she was cared for at home with great skill and love by Betty Ann Felix Smith.

Peggy Kizzia was predeceased by her parents, Millard Toncray and Edna Newcomer Toncray, her sister, Jean, and her husband, Joe. She is survived by her three children, Tom Kizzia (Homer, Alaska), Michael Kizzia (Leslie) (Mooresville, NC) and Carol Kizzia (Manhasset, NY), along with eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial event is planned for Summit at a future date.


Funeral Home:
Bradley, Brough & Dangler Funeral Home
Bradley Funeral Homes
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