Col. John J. Peeler USMC (Ret)

April 22, 1927November 21, 2013
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Col. John J. Peeler, USMC, (Ret.) passed away on November 21, 2013 at the age of 86. He was born in San Antonio on April 22, 1927 to parents, Jefferson Davis Peeler and Marguerite Jefferson (Guinn) Peeler. He graduated from Brackenridge High School in 1944. John attended Texas A & M University from 1948 to 1949 and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from George Washington University in 1956. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and served aboard the USS New York during WWII. He was commissioned in 1951 and served in Korea as a Platoon Commander and Infantry Company Commander where he was twice awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Later command assignments included two Rifle Companies, a Reconnaissance Company on Okinawa, commanded Infantry Battalions twice during combat in Vietnam and finally an Infantry Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He also served in various staff positions including the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D. C. and USCINCEUR Staff in Germany. His last year in the Marine Corps was as Commanding Officer of Camp Garcia in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Numerous other personal decorations were awarded which included the Legion of Merit with Combat “V”, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Good Conduct medal, National Defense Medal w/1 Star, WW II Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal w/2 Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/4 Stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Silver Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Palm and six additional unit citations. Following retirement from the Marine Corps after 30 plus years of service, he became a financial planner with IDS/American Express (Ameriprise) for 22 years before retiring in 1998. John was a member of the First Marine Division Association, The Texas Chapter of the Third Marine Division Association, Retired Officer’s Association, Purple Heart Association, Marine Corps League and the Brackenridge Eagles of the Forties.

He is survived by his three daughters, Linda Ball and husband Lt. Col. Edward J. (Rocky) Ball III, USMC, (Ret.), Patricia Fleming and husband Tom, Cindy Littlefield and husband Bruce. He is also survived by grandchildren Edward J. (Ted) Ball IV, Rebecca Salazar and husband Gene Scott (Sal), Michael Ball and wife Lyndsay, Shannah Watson and husband Randy Walker, Emily Krueger and husband Travis, Katie Hetzer and husband Darrell and Megan Sekula. Great grandchildren are Dallas Watson, Elizabeth Salazer, Michael Ball, Zachary Krueger, Darrell Hetzer, Faith Krueger, Lily Salazar and Derek Hetzer. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marjorie Jordahl Peeler, son John J. Peeler, Jr., sister Jeanne Peeler Moore and son-in-law Anthony J. (Tony) Sekula.

John lived a fulfilling and meaningful life, being active with his two great loves: his family and the Brotherhood of the Marine Corps. He was also very proud of his Texas heritage and took pride in preserving the land of his two south Texas ranches for future generations. Some of his fondest memories were of hunting with family, especially his cousin Johnny Morris and his interactions with his Marines, which he never forgot. In recent years, the term “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful) was never better demonstrated then by former Marine, Mike Sohn, a true friend to the end.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 1, 2013 from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at Sunset Funeral Home, 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX 78218. Funeral service will be held on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 12:00pm at Sunset Funeral Chapel. Interment will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with with full Marine Corp honors.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC), 7979 Wurzbach Rd., San Antonio, TX 78229, (210) 450-5552 or Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 (855) 448-3997.


  • Visitation Sunday, December 1, 2013
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 2, 2013

Col. John J. Peeler USMC (Ret)

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Keith Foley

November 9, 2014

I met Colonel Peeler at a 3rd Marine Div reunion about 5 or 6 years ago in San Antonio. I was at the reunion with my Dad, who fought at Iwo Jima with the 3rd Mrine Div. I was fortunate enough to sit next to the Colonel and talk to him for a good hour that evening. I was very impressed by the man and was so glad that he was willing tonshre some of his combat experiences with me. The man was a tru warrior yetca fine gentleman.

March 3, 2014

Col.Peeler was a true american hero & I miss him terribly. Mike Sohn

February 21, 2014

Colonel JJ Peeler was an officer and a gentleman... the epitome of a Marine! He was an exemplary combat leader and instilled a sense of pride in the Marines with whom he served.
I was a young Corporal in the 2nd Battalion 9th Marine Regiment when then Major Peeler assumed command back some 48 years ago. We crossed paths again at the 2/9 reunion in November 1993 in D.C. and then again at the 3rd Marine
Division Reunion in Savannah the following summer, where my wife, Katrina, said of Colonel Peeler, resplendent in his Mess Dress Whites, "My, that man can dance." And dance he did, with my wife... a nice memory. While visiting his family in Beaufort, he and Margie, along with his daughter, called on us in Bluffton, SC. After the death of his beloved Margie, we spoke on the phone for hours and he told me how he was so saddened and we cried together... The world, the country,
the Marine Corps, and those of us who knew and served with John Peeler will miss him. Ooh rah!

Semper Fidelis,

Roger B Spurr USMC 1963-1974

December 11, 2013

I had the honor of being one of the Plt Ldrs who had the privilege of replacing John as Item Co 3rd Plt Ldr in Korea.It was a tough act but fortunately there was a Peeler trained Plt Sgt who kept me in line and out of too much trouble.
Several years later my wife and granddaughter and I had the additional honor of traveling back to Korea with John on a Military Historical tour. They still talk about the experience. To adapt an old bumper sticker. "Goodnight John, where ever you are" Semper Fi to a great Marine... Dave Seiler

Tony and Dina Turpen

December 10, 2013

John was our neighbor so my wife and I only knew him for a couple of years. We really liked John. He is one heck of a guy. He is in heaven now and probably laughing and telling a joke. He is our hero.

samantha marie

December 4, 2013

My prayers go out to the family of Mr.peeler ... I will miss him dearly ... I worked at independence hill where he would always come buy stamps from me at the front desk , my best and most favorite part of my day is when he'd come and see me .. He always had a huge smile on his face and he would always high five me . . Its sad to say he's gone .. But he is with the good lord now , to his family condolences to you all . . May god be with you at your time of grieving, I myself hurt very much .. I wish I could have said good bye .. May you rest in peace hun .. Il never ever forget you .

Garrette Peck III

December 4, 2013

Col. J.J. (Jockstrap) PEELER, whose love for our Beloved CORPS and his Troops knew no bounds. He is a Legend that all Americans can be proud of Honor, Service, and commitment was the core of his character. Semperv Fi Honorable Colonel. Sgt. G. Peck - Hotel 2/9 3dMarDiv

Les Stevenson

December 3, 2013

I would like to extend my sincere condolences to all the Peeler family. Col. Peeler was truly a great Marine and outstanding Marine officer. I first met Col. Peeler in December 1966 in Phu Bai Vietnam when he was the battalion commander for 2nd battalion 9th Marines. I was a radio operator in the command bunker so I saw him almost daily. At first he struck fear in me, I was nothing more than a lowly PFC and he was a Lt. Col. at that time. After a time I realized the only thing I needed to fear was not doing my best. He always brought out the best in all his Marines.

I believe he is the main reason many us 2/9ers are alive today. He stood up against his superior officers in September of 1967 and argued that many more would die if we didn't move from a small hill right outside Con Thien, South Vietnam. For more than 10 days we had been getting shelled constantly and were taking casualties daily. His leadership and persistence to do the right thing made it possible for 2/9 to leave that hill.

Next time I met Col. Peeler was in May 2006 when I was passing through San Antonio. He invited me into his home one evening and we sat and talked for hours. We even talked through dusk until he abruptly interrupted our conversation when he realized he hadn't lowered the colors for the evening. It was the best way to find his house on the street, old Glory and the USMC flag flying proudly in his front lawn. The last time I saw him was at the 2/9 reunion in November 2006.

I'm sure that Col. Peeler has now been given a new commission…commander of the Marines who are guarding the gates of Heaven. May God give him peace and eternal rest. His family should know that he made a huge impact on a lot of lives. I was proud to serve under his command.

Semper Fidelis,
Les Stevenson

Mina Mullins

December 2, 2013

Trish, Tom and all,
so sorry for your loss and hoping you know that many prayers are being sent to you during this difficult time. Sending Prayers and blessings,
Mina Mullins

Luis Hernandez

December 2, 2013

Colonel, May you rest in peace. Semper Fi, Luis Hernandez