A Christian Missionary For Pakistan Passes Away at 82
Peggy Joan (Hoft) Schlorholtz was a Christian missionary for 35 years with her husband Alfred in Pakistan and Nepal. The couple worked at Forman Christian College, an institution of higher education attended by General Pervez Musharraf, the current president of Pakistan. During the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan armed conflicts, the family remained in Lahore, near the Indian border and ran to the trenches during air raids. They refused to leave their Pakistani friends and were among the few Americans who remained in the region during the horrible conflicts. Peggy Schlorholtz passed away on Sunday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
I am very proud to say that this wonderful woman was my Aunt Peggy.
She had an extraordinary life and I wanted to share a bit of her story with you.
Peggy Joan (Hoft) Schlorholtz, March 16, 1925 – November 10, 2007
Dear Loved Ones and Friends,
My beloved wife Peggy passed peacefully from this earth on November 10, 2007. We were blessed with 61 years of marriage and 67 years of great friendship, love and devotion. Our four children, Stan, Hope, Esther and John, and our grandchildren, Tanya, Erik and Arin, join me in expressing our deep sense of sadness but also our knowledge that she is in a better and more peaceful place with her Lord and Savior. Peggy was 82 at her passing. She struggled for about 12 years with Alzheimer’s and dementia, but she passed without pain and in a safe, caring environment.
All of us will remember Peggy as a vibrant, courageous, adventurous and caring woman. We met in Iowa when she was 12 and I was 13; she threw an orange at me—I caught it and never looked back! This picture of Peggy (above) is from her college graduation shortly before we married June 29, 1946. Peggy, and our children Stan and Hope joined me in Princeton where I attended seminary. In 1954, four months after our daughter Esther’s birth, we left New York City by ship to enter into the Presbyterian Mission, first living in Kasur, Pakistan, during violent floods. Later we lived in Lahore, primarily at Forman Christian College, where John was born. After 24 years of service, we moved in 1978 from Pakistan to Nepal to continue our work of service and love. We worked in Nepal for another 11 years before retiring to Florida to be near family. We had a long and beautiful life of service.
Here is the life story of this amazing woman- Peggy Joan (Hoft) Schlorholtz:
Peggy Schlorholtz, 82, Presbyterian Missionary for 35 years in Pakistan and Nepal
Peggy Joan (Hoft) Schlorholtz, 82, died November 10, 2007, at Manor Care in Dunedin, Florida. A Celebration of Life will be held at Mease Manor, 700 Mease Plaza, Dunedin, Friday, November 23, at 10 am.
Mrs. Schlorholtz was born on March 16, 1925, in Wall Lake, Iowa, graduated in 1942 from Wall Lake High School, and received her B.Sc. degree from Iowa State University in 1946. She enjoyed flying airplanes. She married Alfred A. Schlorholtz June 29, 1946, in Wall Lake. After Mr. Schlorholtz completed his master’s degree in Theology and Islamics at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey, the couple traveled by ship to Pakistan in 1954, four months after the birth of their third child, to begin work as Presbyterian missionaries in what was considered among the most challenging mission fields in the world.
They were stationed in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Their first assignment was in Kasur, which at that time was experiencing violent flooding. Their fourth child was born in Lahore. In 1958 the family moved to Lahore where Mr. Schlorholtz served as pastor of Naulakha Church one of the oldest congregations in Punjab. In 1962 Mr. Schlorholtz became chaplain and professor of English and Sociology at Forman Christian College, an esteemed higher education institution attended by General Pervez Musharraf, currently Pakistan’s president. Alfred served a distinguished career at the college and participated in community development work for sixteen years.
During both the 1965 and 1971 India/Pakistan armed conflicts, the family remained in Lahore, near the Indian border and ran to trenches during air raids. Mrs. Schlorholtz refused to leave her husband and remained with him and the children during the wars, among the few Americans remaining in the dangerous circumstances, despite pleas from the US consulate. She said at the time that she could not leave behind her husband or her Pakistani friends.
The Schlorholtzes were partners in their life’s work. Mrs. Schlorholtz was highly respected for her caring, joyful and giving nature. She volunteered in numerous efforts to share her faith and to feed, clothe, educate, and find employment for people living in deep poverty, focusing especially on the needs of women and children. She was known for her elegant sari wearing, her keen understanding of Pakistani culture, and she helped many young Christian men and women to find their life’s partners. She also taught on occasion at Kinnaird College for Women on marriage and family living.
In 1978, the Schlorholtzes moved to Nepal where Mr. Schlorholtz was Secretary of Economic Development overseeing development efforts across Nepal for the United Mission to Nepal, an inter-denominational Protestant missionary organization. Mrs. Schlorholtz taught young Nepali women language and work skills, helped at the mission hospital, and was a mentor and counselor to many in need.
The couple retired after thirty-five years of service to Palm Harbor, Fla., in 1989. They moved to Mease Manor in Dunedin in 2005. Mrs. Schlorholtz struggled for twelve years with Alzheimer’s and dementia, cared for by her loving husband of sixty-one years. Mr. Schlorholtz said, “We met in Iowa when she was twelve and I was thirteen; she threw an orange at me—I caught it and never looked back.”
Mrs. Schlorholtz is survived by her husband, Al; son and daughter-in-law Stan and Jo Ann; daughter and son-in-law, Hope and Stephen Phillips; daughter and son-in-law, Esther Schlorholtz and Joseph Hunter; son, John; grandchildren, Tanya of Palm Harbor, Fla., Erik of Tallahassee, Fla., and Arin of Newton, Mass.; brother, Willard Hoft, sister, Hope Arnold, and brother, Harrison Hoft.
Her family wrote, “We will remember Peggy as a person of faith and as an extraordinarily vibrant, courageous, adventurous and caring woman.”
In memory of Peggy the family is asking for donations to help the Women of Pakistan:
On occasion Peggy taught at Kinnaird College, and it would mean a lot to her to help more young, low-income women in Pakist
an to gain a wonderful education and better opportunity.
In lieu of sending flowers, you may send donations to:
Kinnaird Graduate School #862341
PC (USA) Individual Remittance
PO Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA, 15264-3700 USA.
(Please note on the check that the donation is “in memory of Peggy Schlorholtz.”)
Or…. HERE is a direct link to donate to this missionary group.
Where it asks for “nickname” please put “Peggy Schlorholtz for Gateway Pundit.”
That way the donations go to the correct institution.
I will post later what amount was collected from this website for the women of Pakistan.
I have no affiliation with this organization.
And, please remember the Schlorholtz family in your prayers.
UPDATE: The St. Petersburg Times has a wonderful obituary on my Aunt Peggy.
Around the world, she became ‘Aunt Peggy’
She often taught English to young women, so they could get jobs. She hosted big tea parties on her back lawn, mixing Christians with Muslims, rich with poor, educated with uneducated. She made friends so easily that dozens of families used her as a matchmaker when their youngsters reached marriageable age.
“Everyone called her “Mother” or “Aunt Peggy,” her daughter Esther Schlorholtz recalled. “They came to her with their most precious possessions, their children. That was very special to her.”
She loved saris, the colorful garb of Pakistani women. She wore them constantly, Esther said. Friends would give them to her as gifts, and at times, her closet held as many as 50.
When Lahore became a border battleground between Pakistan and India, U.S. authorities told its citizens to leave. Bullets from airplane dogfights sometimes zinged into the yard, Esther recalled.
But Peggy refused to go. In fact, she took in the family of a Pakistani soldier who was being held as a prisoner of war in India. After hostilities abated, a Pakistani officer presented the family with an artillery shell inscribed to “the only American family in Lahore in 1965.”