Ronald Russell Peck Sr, a lifelong resident of Pawling, NY, passed away suddenly at home on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at the age of 87.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Eileen Hallgren Peck, daughters Sheryle Peck Silvern of Poughquag and Elizabeth (Marc) Peck of Rotterdam, sons Ronald (Rosemary) Peck Jr of Poughquag and Stephen (Carol) Peck of Pawling, brother Earl (Martha) Peck of Nort Carolina, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents Harrison Peck and Blanche Mulkins Peck of Pawling, brother Paul Peck of Washington State, sister Millie of South Carolina, and son-in-law Stuart Silvern of Poughquag.
Ron was raised on his family’s dairy farm in Pawling, NY. He told of sleeping with the window open in winter, having snow on the covers in the morning, of dressing under the blankets and heading quickly downstairs to the warmth of the kitchen wood stove, the only heat in the house. He shared stories of farm life and of his father milking cows by hand, seven days a week. The dairy farm has been gone for many years but Ron and Eileen, through grit and determination, built their home and raised their family in the middle of what was once the farm’s woodlot.
Ron was a gifted craftsman in metal and wood. In addition to a full-time job, he supported the household working late hours at Ray’s Autobody in Pawling and crafting specialty wood items for the restaurant industry that included 12-foot diameter ships-wheels, two “car bars” (full size replicas of early automobiles split lengthwise), and a scale model of a town in Pennsylvania built on an 8-foot by 24-foot platform. He was also an artist, often winning the family Christmas Art competition, and taking home first and third prizes for paintings entered at the Dutchess County Fair the past two years.
Ron was blessed to retire from IBM at age 54. The fear of what to do with oneself in retirement never entered his mind. Despite failing knees, he remained active, caring for the family and property to the day of his passing. He looked forward to every day. In recent years Ron and the family dog Lady left the house early to get started on the day’s chores. They both looked forward to 10:00 AM coffee break with wife Eileen.
Ron had wonderful memories of family trips to Cape Cod, Florida, England, Alaska, and many states along both coasts, but he most enjoyed spending time at home. He enjoyed restoring early farm tractors and sawing boards for future projects on the family portable sawmill. Always a competitor, Ron relished a game of croquet and looked forward to family meals on Sunday where teams were formed for a “few rounds” before dinner.
Ron taught his children many skills and set an example of what it means to work hard. He loved his family. Perhaps the feelings in his heart are best captured in a wood carving he made and hung over the staircase to where Christmas mornings were spent together, it reads “Here Dwells Contentment”.
Family and friends may pay their respects on Wednesday, August 30th from 4-7 PM at the Horn & Thomes, Inc Funeral Home, 83 East Main Street, Pawling, where a service will be conducted at 6:30 PM. Burial is private.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in Ron’s memory be made to the charity of your choice.