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King's prof Peggy Heller passes away

Prof Heller at her home in April 2011

Former FYP director and CSP professor Dr Peggy Heller passed away this morning.
An email sent to the staff said that Prof Heller was at home, with her family around her.
The College flags are at half mast in her memory.
Prof. Heller began teaching in the Foundation Year Programme in 1982 and in the Contemporary Studies Programme in 1993.
More to come.
RELATED: Our April 2011 interview with Prof Heller

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

7 replies on “King's prof Peggy Heller passes away”

peggy heller was the biggest inspiration i had in my academic career. she is the reason i chose to pursue knowledge and to live a life of inquiry. she inspired me to think beyond the text, to pursue knowledge she will be missed at kings. she was a truly intellectual and curious soul. i will miss her presence on this earth.

This is heartbreaking news. Peggy was, I think, the best teacher I ever had. She made her students want to be better. I know many of my friends from King’s are as deeply saddened by this news as I am. Our hearts go out to her family, to everyone who knew and will miss her, and to everyone who didn’t have the chance.

What a wonderful woman. I was greatly saddened by this news. Peggy’s lessons went beyond the academy, she ‘reordered’ my perspective on reality and challenged some rather ignorant assumptions I had about gender, class and society. Her legacy will live on in the many minds she has ‘reordered’ and the spirits she has inspired. Thank you Peggy, you will be missed.

As a life-time friend of Peggy’s it’s so nice to read the comments on this site from her students. I knew Peggy well as a girl; we grew up on the same street. She was a wonderful friend and a beautiful person. I will always miss her quiet intelligence, her calm and steady ways, and her subtle and nearly always-present sense of humour. She was intrinsically good and if she had any sharp edges, I never saw them in our 45 year friendship. She will always be missed.

Peggy Heller was my FYP tutor back in 1990/91. Half-way through second semester, we were sitting around the tutorial room after she’d left, chatting about how much we loved her, and someone suggested we all dye our hair red and dub ourselves “Hellerites”. Twenty years on, it still seems like a pretty good idea.
Being a true “Hellerite”, though, would entail far more than splendid hair: one would have to know how to demand people’s best without ever being unkind; how to impart fantastic knowledge and wisdom without pretense or conceit; how to lead and inspire discussion without raising one’s voice; how to bring laughter and happiness without cracking wise … . Come to think of it, I’ve only been privileged to know one person who could maintain such a fine balance, with impeccable grace and style, and now she is dead. Peggy’s passing is a terrible, terrible loss for King’s: we shall not look upon her like again.

I am saddened and shocked. I played quartets with Peggie with great pleasure. She also was a good friend to AST. This is a terrible loss for King’s and for all who benefited from her friendship, her kindness, and her generosity.

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