In the month of May, 1939 in the central Kansas town of Natoma Roberta Mae (Reynolds) Peck was born into the family of Pastor W.R. and Essie Faye Reynolds. Her next address would be Covington, Tennessee, then on to West Virginia where her parents ministered to churches in Ashford, Chapmanville, and Huntington. During those growing-up years she learned to take great pride in being a “West Virginia girl” and often referred to herself as such. She and her older brother, Arnold Lee, and younger sister, Donna Faye were gifted singers. At a very young age they were involved in musical concerts, contests, Lion’s Club, Eastern Star, revivals and camp meetings.
In response to the desire to have their children attend a Christian school, the Reynolds family moved to Kansas in 1953. Roberta began the ’53-’54 school year at Fort Scott Bible School (later known as Fort Scott Christian Heights) in Fort Scott, Kansas as a high school freshman, graduating in 1957. When a caring, perceptive high school teacher, Marjorie Boldra, told Roberta that she should become a teacher, she took it to heart and established that as her goal. After graduation she went on to Pittsburg State University to earn her Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Arts in Elementary Education. Roberta began her teaching career as a third grade teacher in Lee’s Summit, MO. Later, she joined the faculty at Fort Scott Christian Heights, where she taught for seven years. In 1972 she responded to a need for Fort Scott USD 234 to begin a Special Needs Education Program. She taught there four years before moving into the third grade classroom for USD 234. She served for many years in that capacity, dearly loved by her superiors, co-workers, students, parents – actually, by all who knew her. Roberta truly loved to teach. It seems it was what she was born to do, and she fulfilled her calling with excellence. One of her oft-repeated joys was to have a former student come up to her and tell her she was his/her favorite teacher ever. She has stayed in close contact with many of those students. The last day of her career coincided with her 70th birthday, after 45 years of teaching.
During the busy years of her teaching career, Roberta also found time for her ALL-TIME FAVORITES, her family! On December 21, 1964 she married Wayne L. Peck, who farmed several acres of land southeast of Fort Scott. Though she once said “I will never marry a farmer,” she did! She embraced it and learned to love the farm. She took a year off from teaching on two very worthy occasions, for the birth of daughter Kimberly Dawn and the birth of son Keniston Wayne. Her family now includes grandchildren: Braden, Aubrey, Nick, Paige, and her husband, Jeff, and great grandson, Caden. They are genuinely her greatest pride and joy! Her retired life revolved around her grandchildren’s sporting events, planning special celebrations for the family and establishing unique traditions for them.
Anyone who knew Roberta knows how much she enjoyed laughter and good times with family and friends. Those good times might even involve a prank or two! They also know she was a strong Christian and prayer warrior, often sharing your prayer burden as though it were her own. Those prayers will be greatly missed by her immediate and extended family members! She will be missed by a multitude, but her spirit will be with us always, a spirit we would all do well to emulate.
Roberta traded her treasured farm home for her heavenly home on April 4, 2020. She is survived by her husband, Wayne; her daughter and her husband, Kim and Bruce Murphy of Olathe, KS; her son and his wife, Keniston and Tonya Peck of Webb City, MO; her grandchildren: Braden and Aubrey Peck, Nick Murphy, Paige (Murphy) and her husband, Jeff Wixson; and a great grandson, Caden Wixson. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Marcy Reynolds of Fort Scott, KS; two sisters and their husbands: Donna and Gerald Carlson of Pinson, AL; Mary Lou and Wayne Sams of Harrisonville, MO; one brother and his wife, Bob and Sharon Reynolds of Olathe, KS; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, W.R. and Essie F. Reynolds, and her brother, Arnold Reynolds.
Private family burial will take place in the Evergreen Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Fort Scott Christian Heights and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.