News Death Notice
PECK, Mary Patricia (nee Pugh) A woman characterized by goodness and generosity, Mary Patricia (née Pugh) Peck passed away on October 16, 2014 from cancer. She was born in Charleston, WV, to the late Harry Lee and Barbara Evans Pugh on July 28, 1941, and grew up there. She attended the Medical College of Virginia and Marshall University, ultimately completing her B.A. in English at Marshall University in 1964. After graduation, she taught English for a few years in Ohio schools, then found her dream job in Dayton as Associate Editor of Church & Home magazine, a publication of the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB). When the EUB and United Methodist Church (UMC) merged and the dream job moved to Chicago, she took up public relations at United Appeal (now United Way), where she worked for many years. Mary Pat was a gifted soprano and a lover of both sacred and secular music, known to burst into show tunes at any moment. She was a member and soloist with the Antioch EUB Choir and Oakwood UMC Choir, and her favorite hymns encompassed half the hymnal. She performed in numerous musicals with the Dayton Community Theatre (now Dayton Playhouse) and the Forum Cocktail Theatre in the late 1960s, including Carousel, Showboat, Calamity Jane, Anything Goes, I Do I Do, and Stop the World, I Want to Get Off. Believing it was her destiny to be involved with people, Mary Pat gave generously of her time and talents to helping others in ways large and small. She was the Director of the Interfaith Hospitality Network for Montgomery County, which provides housing and job assistance for homeless families. Mary Pat and her husband Garry were active in Marriage Encounter United Methodist, a ministry that supports married couples in deepening and enriching their relationships. Mary Pat was very active in the Greater Dayton Walk to Emmaus Community, serving as Chair of the Board of Directors and Lay Director on one walk, a three-day experience to rekindle and deepen one's personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. A longtime member of Fairview UMC in Dayton, and more recently Englewood UMC in Englewood, Mary Pat truly followed Jesus' command to love and serve with genuine kindness. She entered every new acquaintance with the expectation of being delighted by whomever she met, and the first words to come to mind in anyone who met her were, "What a sweetheart!" Her motto, from the Book of Proverbs, was "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Throughout the challenges of her life, including her husband's stroke and her bouts with cancer, she had faith in tomorrow and met whatever came with strength, courage, and optimism. Mary Pat is survived by her husband of 37 years, Garry L. Peck, half-sister Jennifer O'Connor of Wilmington, DE, half-brother Thomas Pugh of Durham, NC, sisters-in-law Janet Pugh of Silver Spring, MD and Linda Pugh of Charleston, WV, several nephews and nieces, her cats Tigger and Beamer, and a host of friends who made up her chosen family. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers David and John Pugh. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, October 23 at 11:00 am at Englewood United Methodist Church (107 N. Walnut St., Englewood, OH 45322). A reception and visitation with the family will follow in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place later that day in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Englewood UMC, or to the National Stroke Association, 9707 E Easter Lane Suite B, Centennial, CO 80112. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.kindredfuneralhome.com
Published by Dayton Daily News on Oct. 22, 2014.