Richard Peck
1934 - 2018
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NEW YORK (AP) — Prize-winning children's author Richard Peck, who drew upon his Illinois roots for such favorites as "A Long Way from Chicago" and "A Year Down Yonder," has died.

Peck died on Wednesday at his home in New York City at age 84. His publisher, Penguin Young Readers, told The Associated Press, that he died after a battle with cancer.

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A native of Decatur, Illinois, and graduate of DePauw University, he was a prolific author who wrote dozens of books, but didn't start until his mid-30s when he decided to quit teaching. Willing from the start to address social issues, his debut novel "Don't Look and It Won't Hurt" was a story of teen pregnancy later adapted into the acclaimed independent film "Gas Food Lodging." He received his highest praise for "A Year Down Yonder," set in rural Illinois during the Great Depression and winner of the John Newbery Medal in 2001 for the year's best children's book. A year later, he became the first children's writer to be given a National Humanities Medal.

His other books included "The Best Man," ''A Season of Gifts" and "The River Between Us," a National Book Award finalist. His novel "A Long Way from Chicago," was a prequel to "A Year Down Yonder" and also a finalist for the National Book Award. Both featured his beloved character, the no-nonsense Grandma Dowdel.

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Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Published in Kitsap Sun on May 25, 2018.
Memories & Condolences
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30 entries
May 17, 2020
You are a special person and very special author to me. I read your books over again to feel the connection that you provide to people like me and others needing some quality of life boost. Thanks for your work.
Randall Nelson
July 31, 2018

Sorry for your loss. May god provide the family with peace and strength during this difficult time, while you cherish your memories of your loved one who to is in God's memory.
Psalms 116:15
June 25, 2018
I would like to express my deepest sympathies for the loss of your loved one, who will be remembered for his literary contributions. May you find comfort and help in God during this time of sorrow.
June 24, 2018
Mr. Peck was one of my two favorite HS teachers back in 1963-4 at Glenbrook. I remember that he introduced me to Ayn Rand's work, The Fountainhead, by lending me his personal copy of the book--a gesture that impressed me deeply, both because he trusted me with the book rather than directing me to the library and because he thought I was mature enough to handle the material. Needless to say, I was highly motivated to study hard in his class and I later modeled many of my own teaching strategies on what he did in that class. The world has lost a gem of a man.
Ruth Ault
June 13, 2018
I found his books when I was 63 and they made me laugh harder than I had in years. They also informed and amazed.
Beyond the circle of his family and friends, his loss is all of ours.
May you know no more sorrow.
Shir-El, Israel
June 2, 2018
My sincere condolence for your loss.
June 1, 2018
Valenda Newell
May 31, 2018
A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder were the two books I always encouraged my fifth graders to read when I was teaching the history unit on the Great Depression. The books were the perfect way to have the students feel the era. I am always disappointed when these books are omitted from book lists. They showed the reality of staying with Gramma in the country in the summer.
Phyllis Dawkins
May 30, 2018
Deepest sympathies to Mr Peck's family and friends. He touched many lives through his work and will be remembered. May God comfort you at this time of pain and sorrow
May 30, 2018
My deepest condolences to all family and friends of Richard Peck. Our paths crossed in Indiana where he gave a talk at a professional workshop. I found him to be brilliant and kind--a true gem of humanity. His memory will live forever through his works.
Charles Moulton
May 30, 2018
Chuck Moulton
May 29, 2018
An author near and dear to many children over the years. We hope for nothing but comfort and peace from our God above for Mr. Peck's loved ones.
May 29, 2018
May the hearer of our prayers grant you peace and strength from above
May family and friends embrace each other sharing memories of laughter and joy
We will always have his thoughts with us
My prayers are with you
May 29, 2018
Our prayers and condolences go out to the family, friends and fans of Richard Peck. His love for writing was reflected in his variety of books that he wrote. Richard will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him and those who appreciated his books. May Almighty God give you strength, courage but most of all peace in the difficult days ahead.
1 Corinthians 1:3, 4.

May 28, 2018
I'm very sorry for your loss. May the words at John 3:16 help comfort the family during this very difficult time.
May 27, 2018
Cheryl, the staff of KM Hair Works & Spa extends to you our most sincere and heartfelt sympathy.
May 26, 2018
I am so sorry for your loss. Please be comforted in knowing that God cares for you and will help you in your time of need. (1Peter5:7)
May 26, 2018
Cheryl, I am so sorry for your loss. Your brother had an amazing life that will endure through his books and those who loved him.
Diane Long
May 26, 2018
Mr. Peck was a great author indeed. I enjoyed reading his books. May the God of tender mercies and comfort soothe your heart during this most difficult time.
May 26, 2018
Loved his Grandma Dowdel books! So sorry about his passing. He was a fabulous writer! Wish I could have thanked him while he was still alive.....
May 26, 2018
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
May 26, 2018
To the family, please accept my deepest condolences. May all find strength and rest from Almighty God during this time.
May 26, 2018
I am so sorry for your loss. I know you loved Richard very much and will miss him dearly. May the God of all comfort be with you this day.
May 26, 2018
My deepest condolences to the family at this very difficult time. May the God of all comfort be with you.
May 26, 2018
So sorry to hear about the passing of your brother Richard. Wishing you Peace.
Tom Ambrose
May 25, 2018
We are so saddened to hear of the death of Mr. Peck. We have enjoyed his novels trememdously, especially the Grandma Dowdel novels as she reminded me of my own central Illinois grandmother. Also, somewhere in there I also recognized my brother (but I'm not telling which character)! We purchased his novels for our daughters, but ended up reading and enjoying them for ourselves. He was a rare talent and he will be missed.

So, on that note, Mr. Peck, as you now travel A Long Way From Chicago may you always have Fair Weather.....
Paul and Deborah Rasch
May 25, 2018
Godspeed Richard, and thank for sharing a part of your life with us.

Rest Richard, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.

Thank you for your service to this nation.
Harry Simpson
May 25, 2018
Rest in Peace
Scott Chamberland
May 25, 2018
I used many of Richard Peck's novels with my students over the years and his work was always so well liked by the kids. To his family.....thank you for supporting Mr. Peck in his writing. Sympathy to his family!
May 25, 2018
My sincere condolences on the passing of Richard.Really sorry for the loss.
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