Cover photo for Margaret Roy's Obituary
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1923 Margaret 2016

Margaret Roy

June 9, 1923 — May 12, 2016

Margaret “Peg” Roy of Saranac Lake died at the Adirondack Medical Center on Thursday, May 12, less than one month short of her 93rd birthday.

A resident of the village since 1976, Peg was an active member of the community, the builder and owner of the Tamarack House apartments on Helen Hill, and founder and owner of the Yum Yum Tree bakery and confectionary on Main Street from the early 1980s until the late 1990s. She was the first woman president of both the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary, and was involved in many other local activities.

Born in Geneva, NY, the ninth of nine children of Scottish immigrants John and Elizabeth Adam, she was given up for adoption at age two when her mother died. She was adopted by Frank and Georgia Snow, school teachers in the area, and they subsequently moved to Buffalo, where she spent her formative years. She was a talented musician, starting piano under her mother’s tutelage at age 5, and later switching to violin. She played Bach with the Buffalo Philharmonic as a fourteen-year-old. While a student at Houghton College, and, by then a viola student, she turned to singing and immediately began to receive accolades and win prizes for her artistry.

She married George Robert Roy in January, 1945, and upon the completion of his military service as a pilot in the Pacific, they returned to his hometown of Lisbon, NY while he earned his bachelor’s degree at St. Lawrence University. In 1950 they moved to Cambridge, MA, where Robert pursued a master’s degree in Engineering at MIT and Peg earned a master’s degree in voice at the New England Conservatory. After graduation, they moved to New York City, where Peg’s career as a singer flourished. She was contralto soloist at the Marble Collegiate Church under Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, appeared in the original Broadway cast of Leonard Bernstein’s musical “Candide”, and did both Town Hall and Carnegie Hall debut recitals. She was a Metropolitan Opera auditions finalist in 1957, the same year that she and her husband and the first two of three children pitched a tent on Bluff Island on Lower Saranac Lake. The following year they built a state camp on First Pond and spent summers there until the 1970s. She taught elementary school music in Westchester County and New York City during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1975, after the untimely death of her husband at age 52, Peg bought a house on Lake Kiwassa, where she made her home until 1999.

While remaining active in music during her “Saranac years”, she began writing poetry with the late Maurice Kenny. The two were close friends for many years, and she published a collection of poems, “I Fed My Children Summer”, in 1995, to which he wrote the Introduction. She also wrote an unpublished novel entitled The Red Mask, inspired by a 1977 trip to West Africa to visit her older son, Christopher, while he was conducting research for his PhD in African art.

She was also an ubiquitous presence at Mt. Hoevenberg beginning in 1980 when her third child, son Matt Roy, began a bobsled career which would take him to the Calgary Olympics, and later coaching and administrative duties.

Peg moved to Iowa City, IA in 1999 to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and returned to Saranac Lake in 2000, taking up residence in a home she owned in the village. She spent several years in Melbourne Beach, FL and in Washington, DC, and returned at Christmastime of 2010.

She is survived by her son Christopher and his wife Nora of Iowa City, IA; her daughter Robin and her husband, Michael Katz of New York City; and her son Matthew and his wife Caroline of Lake Placid; seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. There will be a celebration of her life later in the year. Memorial donations may be made to the Rotary Club of Saranac Lake at PO Box 628, Saranac Lake, NY 12983. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Roy, please visit our flower store.


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