Wakefield Faculty/Staff Deceased: In Memoriam

Olive Peeke Pawley
b: 6/8/1909   d: 4/29/2007

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Olive Pawley MRS. OLIVE PAWLEY, Department Head of English; English III
The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, California - April 29, 2007

Olive Peeke Pawley was born June 8, 1909 in Battle Creek, Michigan, to Reverend Harmon and Vesta Peeke.  She was the youngest of seven children, the only one born in the U.S. as her parents were missionaries in Japan from 1888 until the early 1920's.  Olive returned to the U.S. to live with relatives while her parents continued their work.  She attended Park Academy and then Park College near Kansas City, Missouri.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, as a science major.  She started teaching in Rifle, Colorado, in 1931.   She also taught in New York and Michigan.  She married Raymond Pawley, Jr., and had two children, Martin and Karen, in the early '40s.  During that time she became a single parent and used her science background to become a medical technician for her surgeon brother in South Dakota.  After WWI she moved back to the east coast to resume teaching in Arlington, Virginia.  Her devoted work earned her the Freedom Medal from the Valley Forge Foundation in 1959.  By 1960, both her children were off to college and Olive worked for the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics and spent a few hectic years flying all over the country giving speed-reading workshops. ffered the opportunity to return to high school teaching, she earned a master's degree in education and was selected as Vice Principal at Yorktown High School where she remained until retirement in the mid 1970's.  While living in Virginia, she participated in the Dr. Edward Bauman's "Good News for Modern Man" television series.  After retirement, Olive moved to Riverside to assist her sister, Harriet, who was ill.  She became an active member in the First United Methodist Church, Church Women United, the AAUW, a sister in P.E.O., and the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.  She served in the Stephen's Ministries and became a docent at Heritage House, where her knowledge and love of history, of teaching, and of meeting her fellow man allowed her to draw upon her rich personal heritage, always charming those fortunate enough to enjoy one of her tours of Heritage House.  Olive, age 97, serenely passed away in the loving care of Agape Care Development residence in Riverside.  She is survived by her daughter, Karen Pawley Francis; her three grandchildren, Adam Martin Pawley, Bridget Peeke Francis, and Margaret Francis Byrd, and three great-grandchildren, Madison, Paige and Jacob.  There are many nieces and nephews (of local note: Richard and Doris Pawley, Claremont, CA. and Anne Pawley Tabb, Dallas, TX) and cousins that mourn her passing and celebrate her life.   There will be a Celebration of Life service at the First Methodist Church on July 19, 2007, at 11:00am. A family interment will follow at 1 pm at Olivewood Cemetery.


This page was last modified 22 August 2012
2010-2012 Wakefield Class of 1960 and Wakefield H.S. Education Foundation (information@wakefieldalumni.org)