Published: May 1, 2007
Margaret “Peg” Brockway Ofslager died here on April 22, 2007, after more than 50 years as a well-known antiques dealer. She was born in Hartford in 1921, received a liberal arts degree from Mount Holyoke College and joined the WAVES as an ensign. She was stationed in Philadelphia as an assistant engineer. After the war she went overseas and worked for the US Army in Vienna.
After her return to Hartford, she married Norman W. Ofslager in 1955. He was completing his doctoral degree in anthropology. Peg began to collect antiques in earnest and soon exhibited in New England antiques shows. The Ofslagers bought land in Cundy’s Harbor, Maine, and built a Royal Berry Wills house on their waterfront land. This provided Peg with new territory to find the early country American antiques in which she specialized. Peg and Norman spent most of the summer in Maine during Norman’s vacation from his post at the University of Hartford as chair of the sociology and anthropology department.
Soon Peg was participating in the prestigious Hartford, Wilton and Maine Antiques Dealers shows. She bought a house on the main street of Wiscasset, Maine, which she opened as a shop in 1982. She was known for her country painted furniture, folk art and paintings and interesting accessories. She had an artist’s eye for selecting good things and taught a lot of us what could be found at out-of-the-way country auctions, which she attended with regularity in several states.
Peg was a night owl and would return with her finds, sometimes to begin to remove newer paint to reveal the original one on a bow back Windsor chair or Chippendale chest. She often worked long into the night.
Peg continued in the business after Norman died and was always generous with her knowledge, fair in her dealings and had a good sense of humor. She will be missed by her friends and her family, which includes her sister, Lorraine B. Smith, brother, Edward P. Brockway and nieces Diane Dodson and Elizabeth Berns.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth Street, Hartford 06105 or the Connecticut Humane Society, 701 Russell Road, Newington 06111.
⁐atricia Anne Reed
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