Gerard Harry Peppard
Gerard Harry Peppard, 75, died Jan. 22 at his home in Greenwood Village, having led a fulfilling life and sharing meaningful goodbyes with each of his loved ones. His determined strength in facing both esophageal cancer (2003) and glioblastoma (2014) treatments was matched by his gentle grace in his final days.
Gerry was born July 15, 1943, to Charles Harry Peppard and Louise Marie Peppard (Benedick) of Joliet, Ill. His early childhood was marked by the untimely loss of his father, a military veteran and Coca-Cola delivery truck driver who was devoted to his family and country. His mother, an elementary school teacher, raised him to be self-reliant and kind. Her Slovenian immigrant family taught him the dignity of work, independence, and loyalty to family and friends. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, baseball, bowling and all forms of billiards.
In 1970 Gerry was married to Linda Elaine Sandbloom, an elementary school teacher from Lockport, Ill. They met in a bar, and she reported liking how he looked in a white button-down shirt with rolled-up sleeves. She adored him in that way over years of changes, and they are an inspiring witness of longevity in love, for over 50 years.
Gerry was a graduate of Joliet Catholic High School, Lewis University and Loyola University in Chicago. He served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He had a long career in human resource management for Standard Oil (Amoco) and Cyprus Minerals. He was proud of his record in mining safety and reputation for fairness in labor union negotiations.
His hobbies included hiking, skiing, photography, billiards and vegetable gardening, especially delectable homegrown tomatoes. He sang in his parish choir, served as eucharistic minister to the sick, and held leadership positions in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the St. Peregrine Novena prayer group for cancer patients.
Gerry’s deepest joy came from time spent with his children and especially his grandchildren, through which his legacy lives on: daughter Michelle “Shelly” Russell (Paul), with grandsons Jake and Luke; and son Mike, with granddaughter Montana. He cherished trips with them to Siesta Key, Fla., where he perfected his skills as a sunset photographer. He is also survived by his sister Carol Niche, niece Shelley Baker and numerous other relatives.
His personality was characterized by stability, forethought and reflection. He valued duty, faith and family. He was known to be cautious and sometimes reserved, but he also had a zest for life with small groups of close family and friends. As his cousin and best friend Jake once said, “Gerry went on every adventure we ever did, and he was also the one who made sure everybody got home safe.” We believe he is now home safe.
There will be a funeral Mass on Feb. 4, 11 a.m., at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in Centennial, to celebrate Gerry’s life. Visitation before that will be at Horan and McConaty in Centennial, Feb. 3, 1-3 p.m., concluding with a rosary. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to St. Thomas More Parish (8035 S. Quebec St., Centennial, CO, 80112), earmarked for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |