Robert Wayne Peck was born October 5, 1924 in Harrisonville, Misouri to Joe and Lottie (Essex) Peck and passed peacefully in his sleep, Thursday, July, 23, 2015.
At the tender age of five, Robert lost his precious mother while the family was living in Las Animas, Colorado. Robert’s father, knowing he could not properly raise two young sons, returned the boys to Cedar County, Missouri where Robert was raised by his maternal grandparents, Albert and Minnie Essex near Humansville. Robert’s older brother Russell was raised by their parental grandparents near Stockton.
Robert joined the Navy in 1945. After basic in Illinois, he was sent to Bremerton, Washington where he became a crew member and plank owner for the newly commissioned aircraft carrier, the CVE-115 USS Bairoko.
After his service time, Robert was driving a gas transport when he met a young lady from Flemington, Wanda McBride. A whirlwind romance of three months began in October 1951 and they were married December 30, 1951. To this union three daughters were born, Janice Kay, Beverly Jean, and Peggy Lee.
Robert drove a school bus, a milk truck, and then a gas transport for Crawford Oil Company and later joined the telephone industry, working for a local phone company, the A & M Phone Company. A & M was bought out by General and Robert worked his way up to become cable splicer, a position in which he took great pride.
Robert and Wanda loved to travel and would visit the Florida or Texas coast almost every spring. While reading an American Legion Magazine, Wanda found a notice for a ship’s reunion to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the fall of 1991. The ship was the USS Bairoko and Las Vegas happened to be the next city they planned to visit. At this the third reunion of the USS Bairoko Association, they formed an instant bond with many shipmates and continued to attend the annual fall reunions until Wanda’s health failed. Robert and Janice attended the 22nd ship’s reunion in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 2009. At that reunion, Robert invited his shipmates to be his guests at the next reunion in Branson, MO. With great honor, Robert hosted the last three reunions of this group with the association disbanding after celebrating their 25th reunion in Branson in October of 2012.
Robert accepted Christ years ago but confided recently to Rev. Ellen Hoff that he had never been baptized. He proudly displayed his baptismal certificate after being baptized by Rev. Hoff in the presence of his daughters.
Preceding Robert in death were his parents, brothers, Russell and Jimmy, his wife of 57 years, Wanda, and a grandson.
Survivors include daughters: Janice and Alan Poe, Beverly Musser, Peggy and Steve McCoy, five grandchildren, eight very special great grandchildren, and his self-proclaimed adopted daughter, Janet Gordon. Also surviving are his brother-Ronnie Peck, and sister-in law’s, Donna Peck, Roberta Patrick, and Rovena Shepherd; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and very dear friends.
Until the very end Robert was working to solve the problems of those around him. He was always resourceful and willing to help anyone with a problem. He never met a stranger and was richly blessed with friends from many different walks of life. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.