Josephine Diebitsch Peary – Military Spouse

The wife of Rear Admiral Robert Edwin Peary, she accompanied her explorer husband on three voyages to the Polar regions and made another two trips to Greenland to meet him on his return from trips.

One trip in 1900 held several threats of disaster. The vessel on which she was sailing, the Windward, collided with an iceberg, was damaged and she went aground on the reef and then was frozen in. The vessel was so delayed for over two weeks. These experiences were drawn on by her in later years for several books.

The next year she again accompanied her husband on a voyage to the North. A two-room house of sorts was built for her on Bowdoin Bay. There in September 1901, within 13-degrees of the Pole itself, she gave birth to their daughter, Marie Ahnighito, later to become Mrs. Edward Stafford. Marie’s middle name was that of the Eskimo woman who made the child’s first fur suit. For years afterward, Marie was called “The Snow Baby.”

Rites Are Held in Arlington for Widowof Arctic Explorer

WASHINGTON, December 27, 1955- Mrs.Robert E. Peary, widow of the discoverer of the North Pole, was buried today in Arlington National Cemetery near the grave of her husband.

Rear Admiral Edward B. Harp, Jr., Navy Chief of Chaplains, officiated at the gravesite ceremonies, which were attended by representatatives of the Navy and geographical organizations.

He said it was fitting that Mrs. Peary should rest in Arlington because “her courage and devotion have achieved an honored place in our nation.”

Mrs. Peary who accompanied her husband on several of his trips into the Arctic, died in her home at Portland, Maine, on December 19, after a long illness.  She was 92 years old.


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