Deceased: March 28, 2003
Margaret Brundy died in Emeryville, CA, in March 2003 from ovarian cancer. She is survived by her brother, James of San Francisco and his family.
Peggy left Carleton during her junior year after hearing the call of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). She began a career with the SWP spanning most of her remaining years. A long tribute to her can be found at http://www.themilitant.com/2003/6714/671459.html.
At an April 6, 2003, meeting to celebrate her life, a senior official of the party and Pathfinder Press, the voice of the socialist movement, said, “Peggy Brundy was a rank-and-file cadre who saw everything she did as a way of helping others to develop the same kind of discipline and habits that she had acquired. Peggy was the kind of cadre that is the backbone of any working-class organization–the kind around whom the troops are formed.”
Immediately after leaving Carleton, she worked briefly for the party in Minnesota and soon to the New York office. Peggy moved to Los Angeles in 1968 to be part of the staff at the house the party organized for James P. Cannon, a founding leader of the communist movement in the United States. The party established a household and secretarial staff that facilitated Cannon’s literary work for several more years.
Joel Britton, a SWP leader, described some of Peggy’s experiences. “Peggy took on a very big responsibility as a 23 year old as part of Cannon’s secretariat,” he said. Speeches and writings were being prepared as manuscripts for books. “These were books Peggy helped to organize classes around as a new generation became imbued with what it means to build a proletarian party in the late 1960s when a great deal was going on,” Britton said. He pointed out that Peggy was in charge. “There was a schedule for reading and studying,” he said. “Jim welcomed the newest recruit, and collaborated with leaders of our world movement, and an occasional old Wobbly. But you had to go through Peggy. She made sure nobody abused his or her privilege of staying too long. And like a lot of what she did, she did it quietly but convincingly.”
In the mid-1970s, she served as the managing editor for Pathfinder Press. “While Peggy was heading up the Pathfinder staff, some 240 titles were published,” an executive noted. “It was probably the period of the greatest quantity of publishing that Pathfinder has ever done.”
In 1976, she was elected to the Party’s National Committee where she served until 1985.
She suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis that had an impact on her ability to work. Starting in the late 1990s and until her final illness, she led an effort to digitize past issues of the Pathfinder.
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