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Former Beverly Hills Designer Ewing Pegee Dead at 75

The late Ewing Pegee
Prominent interior designer and longtime Palm Desert resident Ewing William Pegee, 75 passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs following a long battle with cancer.

Ewing was born to Virginia and Walter Pegee on May 14, 1933 in Versailles, Indiana and moved with his family to Southern California as a teenager. He was a graduate of San Bernardino High School and attended Valley College, also in San Bernardino. Ewing went on to study interior design and received his professional certification from two of the leading trade associations in that industry.

Over a period spanning almost five decades, Ewing designed homes for some of North America’s most distinguished residents, including noted film actress and close friend, Jane Wyman and fashion icon Nolan Miller. His love for his chosen field took him to New York, Beverly Hills, Asheville, North Carolina and Dallas during his long and productive career. He was a frequent visitor to Palm Springs during those years and eventually relocated here in the late 1960’s. In the early 1970’s, he relocated to Marrakesh Country Club in Palm Desert, where he resided at the time of his death.

In addition to interior design, Ewing had a variety of wide ranging interests. He loved luxury automobiles and owned several over the years, including a Jaguar, Bentley, Corvette, Avanti, Citroen and a vintage Maserati. He was a licensed and experienced private pilot and owner of a multiple champion show dog, his beloved Whippet, Spencer, who predeceased him.

During his desert tenure, Ewing actively supported several leading charities, including Act for M.S., College of the Desert, The Virginia Waring Piano Competition and the American Cancer Society. His love for design and eye for color and drama added an element of sophistication and allure to landmark galas, parties and events over the decades.

Ewing is survived by his mother, Virginia Pegee of Palm Desert and sister JoAnn Hankin. In addition, he left dozens of dear friends, including Nolan Miller, Sandra Miller, Norrine Miller, Jean Ann Hirschi, Stephen Browning, Ann Wyles and others.

At Ewing’s request, he was cremated, with his ashes scattered at sea by the Neptune Society. A private celebration of life is being planned for late May in Palm Desert. Memorials can be sent in his name to The American Cancer Society, Desert Palms Area, 73-161 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 100, Palm Desert, CA 92260. Memorial can also be made online at www.cancer.org or by calling toll-free, 1-800-227-2345.

The family wishes to thank the kindness of Dr. Harold Tarleton and his nursing staff at Eisenhower Medical Center and Dr. Elber Camacho and the staff at the Desert Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center and the Desert Hospice for their support and kindness through Ewing’s long illness.

Ewing lived his life to the fullest, traveling extensively both domestically and internationally. He was a caring and loyal friend to many and will be missed for his keen wit, dry sense of humor and abundant talents.

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