Leon Peek

Leon (Pap) Peek

     When Ginger, Will and Tom and I moved to Athens to work with West Hobbs Street church we immediately met a family by the name of Peek. These were the first “Peeks” we had ever known. We found out that the patriarch of the family was Leon, also known as “Pap.” Most of the family went to church here so over the years we formed strong bonds of faith and friendship.

     Last week brother Peek lost a valiant battle with cancer but gained the ultimate victory possible for a human being: he has gone to be with the Lord. To say that Leon was not a run of the mill person is something of an understatement. I never had a conversation with him that didn’t leave with a grin on my face or a better sense of a matter. He could sum up foolishness about as quickly as possible but was never unkind. As I thought about his memorial Monday a large number of those conversations came to mind. But I had been cautioned by Leon’s sweet and strong wife Barbara that she, nor Leon, thought very well of long funeral orations, so I decided to be as brief as possible.

     Brent, Leon’s son and my good friend sent me a list of things that he had learned from watching Leon over the years. These are the some things that Barbara said amounted to Leon having “lived his sermon.” Indeed we all do live our sermons, don’t we? (2 Corinthians 3:1-3). Let’s consider Brent’s list. I know he, his sister Alisa and Barbara would like you to see it.


• You can overcome a lot of obstacles with hard work, grit and determination.

• Just because somebody else thinks you can’t do something doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

• Everybody is important and has valuable gifts and talent. Sometimes they just need help and encouragement to recognize them.

• A simple word of encouragement is one hundred times more effective than a harsh scolding.

• Any story or joke worth telling is worth telling again. And again. And again. And again.

• There is never a good reason to be unkind.

• Treasure and respect your family because they are gifts from God.

• Sparingly offer advice, but lovingly give it when asked.

• People who don’t make mistakes aren’t doing anything.

• Keeping your sense of humor will help you get through very tough times.

• If someone tells you something in confidence; never, ever betray their trust.

• If faced with terminal illness, fight it with everything you have, but not from a spirit of fear.

• There is no place like home, but home is not necessarily one particular place.

• Be with God’s people every chance you get. There may come a day when you are not physically able to be with them and you will miss that fellowship terribly.
• We are not promised tomorrow, so you have to be ready to meet the Lord every day.

• There is no substitute for hope. The promise of a home with God through Jesus means everything.

     Brent said that this list was by no means exhaustive but I certainly think it is helpful. Leon was the able to face his illness the way he did because of his great faith in the Lord. His example can help us as we lean on the Lord. May God bless his good family.