Howard Daniels Peck
February 25, 1923 – January 14, 2013
Born on February 25, 1923 in Middletown, Connecticut, Howard grew up as the only child of Grace Daniels Peck and Horace Howard Peck. He passed away on January 14, 2013, one month shy of his 90th birthday. As the first in his family to attend college, Howard entered Yale University in 1941. While at Yale on scholarship, Howard was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After WW II broke out, Howard attempted to enlist in the U.S. Navy and Air Force but, was denied due to his asthma history. In June 1943, his college life was successfully interrupted when he "understated" his medical background to the Army. His college curriculum led him to be assigned to an Army Engineering Corps in Alaska, constructing airfields near the Bering Sea in anticipation of a Russian invasion. Discharged in 1945 Howard re-enrolled in Yale, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1948 but, remained associated with what has been called the War Class of 1945.
For the next 15 years, Howard was employed by DuPont in the textile fibers division. In 1952, he married Mary Jenifer (Polly) Thomas and they enjoyed 53 years of marriage until her death in 2005. It was during his tenure with DuPont in NYC, Charlotte and Wilmington, that they had three sons - Doug, Hoddy and Robby.
In 1963, Howard made a career decision to move his family to the Park Cities in Dallas during the heyday of the Dallas apparel industry. Officing in the new Dallas Apparel Mart, he worked as the Regional Sales Manager for Klopman Mills (ultimately Burlington Industries) - a career that lasted until his retirement in 1986. He served as President of the Dallas Textile Club and President of the Southwest Association of Textile Manufacturers (SWATM). Howard spent his free time enjoying the activities of his sons - Boy Scouts, Highland Park Football, St. Mark's Swimming, water skiing at Lake Texoma and snow skiing in Colorado, there never was a road trip he would not take. He was a former member of the Lakewood Country Club and Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. He and Polly enjoyed retirement life at Lakeside Village in Rockwall for over 20 years. Golf, boats, card parties and birthday "quarterlies" with family and friends were normal activities at "Camp Rockwall." He was an active participant at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (personally making and delivering PBJ sandwiches to Austin Street Center well into his 80s), the Lakeside Village Homeowners Association and the Residents Board at Monticello West.
Howard stayed true to his humble beginnings, was appreciated for his hard work ethic and often wrote carefully crafted letters to CEOs on how they could provide better customer service. He was a thoughtful man who was as interested in discussing politics and the stock market as he was showing up at a social event in a white dinner jacket with a hostess gift in hand. But, most of all, Howard was a dedicated family man who tenderly cared for Polly during her illness. He was the finest example of a father to his three sons who survive him: Doug Peck and his wife Maggie; Hoddy Peck and his wife Carolyn; and Rob Peck and his wife Amy. Blessed with seven grandchildren who adored him, Howard was a proud spectator at all their events and a constant presence in the lives of Allison and Brian Peck; Sam and wife Katie Peck and Jock Peck; and Trevor, Preston and Davis Peck. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Edwin. H. Thomas, Jr. (Doris) of Palatka, FL; brother-in-law Brent McCullough (Karen) of Bellevue, WA; Connecticut cousins Bill Daniels (Jess), Bet Moore (Tom) and Jane Mazzotta (Guy). The family is grateful to the staff at Monticello West who cared for Howard for the past two years.
A service in remembrance of Howard's life will be held on Friday, January 25 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75093. If desired, memorial donations may be made to Austin Street Center, P.O. Box 710729, Dallas, TX 75371.
- Service of Remembrance Friday, January 25, 2013
Howard Daniels Peck
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
receive updates when new memories are postedRECEIVE UPDATES
January 28, 2013
To Hoddy Peck and family. Please accept my sympathy to you on the death of Mr. Peck. I saw the obituary today in the Dallas Morning News. You and I were in Tom Latimer's wedding years ago. Sincerely, Dale Johnson
January 24, 2013
I was saddened to hear about Mr. Peck's death.
I had visited him the summer of 2010 at Monticello West when I came to Dallas to see my sister Enrica and her husband Aldo. The Pecks had been their dear neighbors before moving to Rockwall.
I have vivid and wonderful memories of Mr.Peck and his wife Polly.I had met them in the early '80s on my first visit to Dallas. They had invited me to dinner and I had been immediately impressed with the vast knowledge of Mr. Peck and his great intelligence. There was talk about a trip to Italy and I invited them to visit my family.They did come and I drove them to Lake Maggiore. Mr.Peck wanted to visit the three Borromean Islands, especially Isola Bella where Winston Churchill had signed a treaty. He knew about it and wanted to see the place. We took a boat,landed on the island and I hired an English speaking guide. We had a marvelous time. We then went to the Isola dei Pescatori (The Fishermen's Island) which is a pristine floating wonder and had lunch outdoors in a typical trattoria.
The Pecks said later that visiting Lake Maggiore was an unforgettable experience ,the highlight of their trip. They also came to my house and my mother was absolutely charmed by both Polly and Mr.Peck. I have never been able to call him Howard,even though he had insisted so many times.
Mr.Peck regularly sent me Christmas cards with a photo of his wonderful family of which he was so proud and always asked me when I would come to visit him in Dallas again. I did come in 2010 and we had a nice visit, h
e reminisced the trip to Lake Maggiore with incredible details. On that visit he also told me that his grandson Sam was getting married to a very sweet and wonderful girl.He was so happy!
On that occasion, Mr. Peck was as brilliant and interesting as ever and I am so sad that I will not see him when I come to Dallas this year.
May you rest in peace, dear Mr. Peck.Knowing you enriched my life. I will always remember you and your wonderful wife Polly.
Via Grandi # 16
21017 Samarate (VA)
January 22, 2013
I was proud to call Hod Peck my cousin. When he came home from the service, he would walk to Farm Hill School, a few houses away from his parents' home, to walk me back for a delicious tomato & mayonnaise sandwich on Wonder Bread - my favorite sandwich to this day. (I was in the 1st Grade at the time.) When I opened a Tack Shop, in the 70's, he put us in contact with companies in Texas to order Western clothing. We picked him up at the airport and he stepped off the plane looking like J. R. Ewing, wearing a 10-gallon hat. I was proud to say, "That's my cousin, Hod!!" Hod was a really sharp guy who loved to talk about politics and the world situation, but his favorite subject was his family back in Texas. The last time he visited us in Connecticut (about 2 1/2 years ago) he drove all over New England visiting old friends. If you were his friend, he never forgot you. There was never a kinder Cousin! My husband, Guy, and I miss him already.
January 22, 2013
I knew Polly and Howard when I worked for Du Pont in their Textile Fibers Department. My heartfelt sympathy to their family. Polly and Howard were always among my favorite people.