Edna Jane Peeples, wife of Vernon Peeples, Sr., passed away on Sunday, August 3, 2014. She was the daughter of Edna Carolyn Kennell and Frederick Buchholtz. Born in Kearney, New Jersey on November 2, 1930, she lived in Caldwell and Lyndhurst, New Jersey. She moved to Punta Gorda in 1945 at age fifteen. Shortly thereafter she met Vernon Peeples, and they soon became high school sweethearts. They were married in August of 1951. They were to become the parents of three children, Carolyn, Jane and Vernon, Jr., and the grandparents of nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Edna Jane graduated from Jackson Hospital School of Nursing in 1951. She worked for some time as a Registered Nurse and later served for many years as the Director of Volunteer Services at the community hospital in Punta Gorda. In addition to motherhood and nursing, she was devoted to service to her community and her church. Among her many contributions to the community, she was responsible for initiating the organization of the Girl Scout program in Charlotte County in 1958 and recently served on the Wotitzky Scholarship Committee of the Charlotte Community Foundation. She served in several capacities at the Church of the Good Shepherd including vestry member, Senior Warden, the President of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, Delegate to several general conventions of the Episcopal Church, and forty years as the Director of Christian Education. She was widely admired for her ability to be a leader and efficient organizer while maintaining her soft spoken, unassuming manner.
Edna Jane provided invaluable support and encouragement throughout her husband Vernon’s fourteen year tenure in the Florida House of Representatives. He particularly remembers fondly an occasion when an illness during his first campaign for office rendered him unable to keep a speaking engagement. Edna Jane stepped in to speak for him and did so with considerable poise and charm.
Edna Jane’s passing is a great loss to her family and her many friends in her church and community. A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Thursday, August 7th at 10 a.m.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Punta Gorda Historical Center which is the future home of the Vernon and Edna Jane Peeples History Collection.