Peggy Joyce O’Malley was called to heaven on April 9, 2024, from her home in Atascadero, California, after a two-year battle with cancer. Her final years were devoted to what she cherished most: enjoying family gatherings, building memories with her eight grandchildren, and planning events at her home.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Marjorie and Glen Layton; her brother, Glen Leslie Layton; and granddaughter, Evie.

Peggy is survived by her husband of 48 years, Tom O’Malley; her children Maggie O’Malley Cox of Atascadero, Merry O’Malley Reynolds and her husband Michael of Atascadero, and Trevor O’Malley and his wife Tina of Lacey, Washington; and sisters Marjanne Claassen of Colorado and Wendy Whaley of Nevada.

She delighted in her grandchildren Ezra, Joy, Hunter, Ivan, Keenan, Danika, Hope, and Aria.

Peggy was born at Atascadero Hospital and graduated from Atascadero High School. She participated in Pioneer Girls at Atascadero Gospel Chapel, band, flag team, and enjoyed making homecoming floats. She graduated from Cuesta College and Cal Poly and attended several local Atascadero Churches over the years.

Peggy O’Malley was a Beloved Wife, loyal friend, compassionate mentor, and always modeled a willingness to grow and change in her life. She had a lasting impact on the community of Atascadero through her 25 years as a teacher with Atascadero Unified School District, including the school sites of Carrisa Plains, Creston Elementary School, Santa Rosa Elementary School, and finally, Atascadero Middle School. She was known for her passion for literature and for helping students find their true gifts. 

Peggy partnered with Tom to create the Portola Inn. Together, they enjoyed cultivating a beautiful property for weddings and celebrations, a vision they shared. 

Her children loved that she was the master of tradition and made a celebration out of anything. She was a “Pinterest Mom” before Pinterest was a thing. Some of their fond memories include the way Mom led Good News club from their home, celebrating Christmas each year with matching pajamas, thoughtfulness when arranging birthday parties, and cooking with apricots from Portola Inn’s 100-year-old orchard.  

There are not enough words to sum up the life that she lived or what she gave to those around her. Please join us in a public Celebration of Life on Saturday, May 25, at 2:00 PM at Atascadero Gospel Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a monetary donation to help support the Battle of the Books with AUSD or a donation of a children’s book. Please bring your book to the celebration.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

Donation checks should be made out to Atascadero Kiwanis Foundation with the note for “Peggy’s Books” and mailed to Tom O’Malley, P.O. Box 808 Atascadero, CA 93423, or brought to the Celebration of Life on May 25.