Gail Thomas Peacock
November 4, 1938 - July 11, 2014
CHARLOTTE - Gail Thomas Peacock of Charlotte died on Friday July 11, 2014, after a 4+ year battle with ovarian cancer. She died peacefully at home in the presence of her family and of God. Gail was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, artist and teacher. She was a remarkable person and genuine friend to many people.
ART IS LIFE:
Art in all its forms was the essence of Gail. Throughout her life, she was deeply involved in artistic efforts in a broad range of mediums. Over the years, she worked in pastels, acrylics, oils, watercolors, batiks, sculpture, paper mach and several other art forms.
Gail earned two degrees from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1961 she graduated with an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art. In 1962, she earned a Master of Arts in Art Education.
While at Vanderbilt, she was an enthusiastic member of the Concert Choir and the Chapel Choir. Her experiences broadened her knowledge of music, and she became a lifelong fan of a variety of musical genres from bluegrass to opera.
Her Masters in Art Education enabled her to qualify for a job with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system as an art teacher. For five years she taught art at Alexander Graham Junior High School and for two years at Independence High School after it opened in 1967.
For two summers (1965 & 1966), Gail was selected to teach art in the Georgia Governor's Honors Program at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. This was a particularly rewarding experience as a teacher because the students were interested, talented and very creative.
Her last year as a teacher in a formal sense was in 1969-1970 as an art instructor at UNC-Charlotte.
She was a high impact, memorable teacher for many students. For years and for the last time just four weeks ago, former students have approached her with entertaining stories about their time in her classes.
For the last 23 years Gail has owned a private art gallery, Art on East Morehead, located at 1115 East Morehead Street. Gail staged numerous shows in her gallery featuring her work and the work of other prominent artists.
Gail's last show at her gallery opened on April 18, 2013 and ran for six weeks. She was especially pleased that every artist sold work during the run of the show. She took no commission from the sales, paid the exhibition expenses and loved helping her creative friends.
Helping teachers grow in their fields of interest was especially important to Gail. In 1966, the North Carolina Arts Society selected Gail to travel to New York City and Washington to visit leading art museums. This trip shaped and enlarged her vision as a teacher.
To give today's art teachers a similar experience, Gail established an educational travel series for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) system teachers at the McColl Center for Visual Art + Innovation in Charlotte. For each of the last three years, three teachers and a staff member have traveled to Washington, New York City and Boston to visit some of the world's best art museums. The trips were designed to expand the artists' horizons.
The second program was the Gail T. Peacock Artist-In-Residence. CMS art teachers were granted a three month paid sabbatical by the school system. The teachers were invited to work at the McColl Center and immerse themselves in their art. The artists were given the time unimpeded by the rigors of daily teaching duties to express their creativity.
In addition to her artistic endeavors, Gail pursued other activities and interests that fed her creative soul. She was a fantastic cook. You could always count on a great meal, great drinks, and lively conversation when invited to her home. She often sewed costumes for her children and grandchildren and she even designed and made her own wedding dress. For Gail, art and creativity in any manner was certainly life.
She was born in Nashville, Tennessee on November 4, 1938. Her parents were Imogene Crimm Thomas and Bascomb Waterfield Thomas.
Gail met Edwin (Ed) B. Peacock Jr. in April 1965. At the time, he was a Marketing Representative for IBM. He needed an artist to prepare flip charts for a sales presentation to a corporate prospect for a new IBM computer system, and Gail was just that artist.
Gail and Ed were married in Nashville on June 17, 1967. It was Ed's life's great good fortune to have been married to Gail for 47 years. Every day he learned more about what a great person she was.
With the birth of her first son, Edwin, in March 1970, she embarked on her life's most challenging, rewarding and important task of becoming a good mother. She had a good role model as she knew how fortunate she and her siblings had been to have a good mother and father. She viewed motherhood as her highest calling and reveled in her role as a mother.
Gail, who is known as "Gigi" to her adoring grandchildren, is survived by Ed, two sons and their families.
Edwin Bruton Peacock III, Amy Rupertus Peacock and grandchildren Edwin Bruton Peacock IV and Avery Gail Peacock live in Charlotte.
David Thomas Peacock, Lauren Hudgins Peacock and grandchildren William Thomas Peacock, Robert Steele Peacock and Anne Blanche Peacock live in Dallas, Texas.
She is also survived by a sister Janice Thomas Donelson of Vienna, Virginia and by a brother Bascomb Waterfield Thomas Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee.
Gail and Ed have vacationed in Wrightsville Beach / Wilmington from their earliest days as a young married couple. Several years ago they bought a second home in Landfall where they spent several months each year in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach.
Gail suddenly was taken ill in April 2010 and was admitted to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Ovarian cancer was the diagnosis and in its most advanced stage.
Gail immediately underwent surgery and began chemotherapy. Over the next seven months, she remained in Wilmington under the wonderful care of Walter F. Gajewski MD and William W. Hope MD.
Gail's condition improved and on November 15, 2010, she and Ed returned home to Charlotte. As she left Wilmington, she wondered aloud whether she would be able to come back to the beach and our Landfall home. She never returned.
Gail's medical care was transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte under the direction of James B. Hall MD. He is a superb, dedicated physician. The Peacock family is most appreciative of his highly skilled professional care, friendship and compassion for the last three years and eight months.
Gail was fortunate both in Wilmington and in Charlotte to find dedicated physicians, nurses, administrative staff, P.A.'s, nurse practitioners, etc.
DeLeslie W. Kiser, FNP works closely with Dr. Hall and his patients. She was professional, kind and a great comfort to Gail. -Indispensible-
As this disease progressed, Gail spent significant time in interventional radiology. Gail was most appreciative for all the kindnesses and care that Madeline Watkins, Greta Marcos, PA and Lauren Wilkerson, PA and many others extended. They became good friends.
A memorial service will be at the Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte at 2:00 PM Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
In lieu of flowers, please send gifts to The Clearity Foundation, 4365 Executive Drive, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92121.
Clearity's goal is to help women with recurrent ovarian cancer live longer by working with their physicians to enable a more individualized approach to their cancer treatment.
Clearity was most helpful to the Peacock family during this long journey.
GAIL IS IN PEACE.
Arrangements are in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service.
Published in Charlotte Observer from July 16 to Aug. 4, 2014