BRILLIANT - "I think God sent her to me," says Beverly Weisenborn about this month's "Neighbor" Margaret "Peg" Enoch. "She's very special." Enoch sees Weisenborn, a hair stylist, at least once a week for her regular appointment.
"We share a lot of interests," Weisenborn adds. One of those interests is a strong faith that has helped both of them through difficult times, including the losses of their own children.
Enoch takes comfort in her belief that "God has a purpose for everything," and says she is thankful every day. Her friends at the First Presbyterian Church in Brilliant describe Enoch as "a strong and positive example of a true Christian."
Margaret Enoch, seated, chats with hair stylist Beverly Weisenborn at her weekly appointment. “She’s very kind and genuine,” says Weisenborn. Enoch was nominated by Weisenborn for September’s “Hey! That’s my neighbor.”
Margaret Enoch, of Brilliant, shows off two of the dresses she’s made for an Appalachian mission. Since 1994 she’s sewn and sent more than 1,000 for poverty-stricken children.
Enoch, who has lived in Brilliant since 1943, grew up in a Quaker family in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, a middle child among six children. Her father was the superintendent of schools. The family influence was evident when she graduated college with a degree in home economics and heard about a teaching position in Brilliant.
"I've always cooked. I grew up on a farm," she says. "My mother sewed. She made all of our clothes and even our underwear. I began sewing in college."
She taught home economics for three years at Brilliant High School and met her husband Andrew, also a teacher at the time and a future fire chief, while walking to work. "I had to pass by his house on my way to the school," she recalls. "I noticed that he started coming outside more when I came home in the afternoon."
When they married in 1947, she stopped teaching school. Andrew passed away in 1989. "He's the only man I ever loved," she adds.
Church activities have been important to Enoch. She taught a Sunday school class at First Presbyterian Church for 30 years. She said she's done "oodles of baking" and countless pies for church dinners. Her friends at church note this also.
"Peg was our neighbor for 30 years until we moved. We had so many long talks in our kitchens. She would often bake a black raspberry pie and hand-deliver it," Carrol Bane says. Other members describe her as a "mentor to all," "dedicated" and "a loving and caring friend," even mentioning Enoch bringing back gifts for friends when she went on vacation.
It was her Christian attitude and a need to find a hobby after her husband's passing that sparked her interest in a mission program covering southern Appalachia. An article in a 1993 Woman's Day magazine introduced Tender Loving Care Ministries and their program providing new clothes for poverty-stricken children. She sent for the sewing guidelines, and they asked for a sample dress. Since then, Enoch has made more than 1,000 dresses plus boys' outfits and crocheted girls' purses.
Friends give her material and ribbon to make the outfits, usually sizes 3 to 7, and four times a year she packs up what she's completed and sends it off to TLC. "In that area, they're very aware of the poverty," Enoch notes. "You want to give them something nice to give them pride in themselves."
"They don't make them like her anymore," says Weisenborn. "I look forward to her coming in every week. She's never in a bad mood. She's been a comfort to me."
Enoch's best advice about being a good neighbor and a good person is, "trust and believe in God. If that was the basis for everyone's lives, the world wouldn't be in the shape it's in."
A friend made a remark about "angels on earth." As it happens, Enoch has an affinity for angels. She collects them, and friends have gotten her all shapes and sizes of them as gifts. "I like them because they're always with you," she says, smiling. "You're never alone."