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Peggy Tschauner: Aug. 14, 1959 – Feb. 25, 2014

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‘She fought the hard fight’

By Lisa King

Peggy Tschauner was more than just the co-chair for Shelby County Relay for Life – she was an inspiration to the community and especially to her family and friends.

“She fought the hard fight; there are a lot of tears being shed right now,” said Sonia Roach, a close friend of Tschauner’s as well as her co-chair with Relay.

Tschauner, 54, passed away Tuesday morning from ovarian cancer.

She had been diagnosed with the disease in February 2010, but that didn’t let that get her down, said her husband, Scott.

“She battled for four years,” he said.

When the Tschauners moved to Shelby County in 2005 from San Diego, when Scott Tschauner retired from the Navy, he and Peggy, a lifelong physical education and fitness professional, opened Fit for Life, which they operated from 2006 to 2013.

Peggy Tschauner also became involved with Relay for Life, an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, soon after moving to Shelby County, and she was co-chair for the past year when the Relay raised $66,033 in Shelby County.

When she became ill with ovarian cancer, that involvement with Relay intensified, Roach said.

“She was a fighter, an encourager, and just a very loving person in general,” she said.  

Tschauner and Ellen Jacobs, a friend, cancer survivor and member of Relay, participated in the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade for the past two years in a row. They were invited back last year when the event was rained out in 2012.

Peggy Tschauner was born Aug. 14, 1959, in Mesa, Ariz., to Jimmy and Myrtle Railey. She also has a stepmother, Betty Rose Railey, and she and Scott have one daughter, Danica Tschauner.

She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgetown College, where she was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority, and a master’s in exercise physiology from the United States Sports Academy in Mobile, Ala.

She, along with a friend, was the first female athletic trainer at Georgetown College, serving in 1976-80.

Scott Tschauner said she was a faithful alumnus for Georgetown, organizing reunions and keeping in touch with the football team that she had served as trainer.

“She organized events and functions for them. She loved that team and the school,” he said.

That devotion was just part of who she was, he said, adding that her love for family and friends was her legacy that anyone who knew and loved her always would remember.

“She was the glue that held everybody together,” he said.

Peggy Tschauner said the same of him in 2012, when she was interviewed for her upcoming participation in the Oaks parade.

“He has been just absolutely so good to me through all of this,” she said. “He stayed home to take care of me, and he did it all, took care of the house and the business, too. He's just amazing."

Scott Tschauner said that Peggy had been doing well until January, when her cancer returned.

Just before her last illness, during an interview for being named one of Shelby County’s Fabulous Five by The Sentinel-News in December, her love of life and her devotion in encouraging others to battle hard to beat cancer shone through when she talked about her pride in being a role model as an Oaks participant.

“For the survivors, it’s a chance to celebrate, and for people who are in treatment, it’s a hopeful thing,” she said. “For those who don’t have cancer, it’s a way to honor those friends and relatives who have lost their battles with cancer, or have won their battles. And for everyone, it’s a way to raise money for research and to raise hope. And without hope, what do we have?”

Roach said the entire Relay family, as well as the entire community of Shelbyville, never would forget Peggy Tschauner, who touched so many lives with her own very special brand of love and encouragement.

“The Shelby County Relay for Life will keep her light shining forever,” Roach said.