Obituary of Neal Peck Sr.
Neal E. Peck, Sr., 82, of Chicago Heights, Illinois, passed away July 8, 2018, from natural causes. He was born in Tekemah, Nebraska in 1935, the eldest child of Sheldon and Frances Peck.
Neal graduated from Windsor High School in 1953 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri), Warrensburg, MO. He later earned a Master of Science degree from George Williams College, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Neal then attended Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and was employed at the YMCA in Houston as program coordinator. During his twelve-year tenure with YMCA, he founded the Indian Guide Program, which was designed to strengthen the bond between fathers and sons. The program was adopted by many YMCA groups nationwide.
Neal was an accomplished folk musician and, in 1988, founded the South Suburban Dulcimer and Folk Music Society in Chicago. He also served as president for many years of the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer and Traditional Music Festival, which is held annually, in Morris, Illinois. An avid outdoorsman with great appreciation for all things in the natural world, he had a special love for camping and canoeing with close friends and family. For 37 years, Neal assisted in the organization and supervision of various activities, and in the care of Temple Anshe Shalom in Olympia Fields, a suburb of Chicago.
Neal is the father of Neal E. Peck, Jr. (Catherine), and Nancy Peck; cherished grandfather of Kaitlan (Evann) Beeny, Christian (Michael) Cohen, Anna (Kenny Dixon) Peck, and Michael Peck; and great-grandfather to Reed and Hudson Beeny. He is also survived by six siblings, Earl (Barbara) Peck, Dale Peck, Karen (the late Taher) Fouad, Rolland (the late Diane) Peck, Karol (the late Bill) Moutell and Lynn (Robert) Castleberry; several nieces and nephews, and a beloved friend, Marilea Zajec.
Graveside services will be held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at the Laurel Oak Cemetery, Windsor with Rev. Jason Veale officiating. The family suggests contributions to Sierra Club or Gebhard Woods Dulcimer and Traditional Music Festival, P.O. Box 803, Morris, Ill. 60450. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hadley Funeral Home, Windsor.