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Betty Jean Morford Peeples

By Staff, 10/14/20 4:29 PM

Betty “Jean” Morford Peeples, 90, departed this mortal life for her eternal home on October 8, 2020.  Jean had been in ill health for the last year of her life, and so we celebrate her release and reunion with her loved ones and Lord.

Jean was born in Roland, Arkansas to Kenneth and Birdie Morford on May 4, 1930, the second of two daughters.  The family was poor, but their garden, livestock, and hunting meant they were never hungry during the Depression.  After completing high school, Jean attended nursing school in Little Rock, and upon her graduation earned the highest score in the state’s nursing board exams that year.  While she was enrolled, a friend introduced her to George Peeples, a medical student, whom she married after graduation.  Together, they worked in the polio wards, tending sick children.

Upon her graduation, Jean and George married and then spent two years in Mt. Vernon, Texas, where their daughters, Georgia and Charlotte, were born.  When the town of Gurdon, Arkansas invited George to serve as a doctor in that community, the young family moved back to Arkansas, where George and Jean would spend their lives.

During their decades in Gurdon, George practiced medicine and Jean worked as a nurse at Gurdon Municipal Hospital.  Both were faithful members of Beech Street Baptist Church.  George gardened, while Jean attended every yard sale and auction within driving distance.  She loved a deal.  During the last four years of his life, George lived at Twin Rivers Nursing Home, and Jean visited him every afternoon.  After his death, Jean was able to live at home for several years, lovingly tended by her friend, Rose Lopez.  When debilitating illness forced her to move, Jean lived for two months at Sommerset at Premiere.  The staff treated her with great kindness during this time of Covid isolation.  Jean’s passing was gentle. She fell asleep and crossed over.

Jean is survived by two daughters, Charlotte (David Smith) of North Little Rock, and Georgia Peeples (Jennifer Holz) of Fort Collins, Colorado.  Two wonderful granddaughters, Donna (Sean Kennard) and Rebecca (Brenon Nolen), along with great grandchildren Taylor, Kennedy, Lilly, and Ellie will hold her in fond remembrance.  Her foster son, Sonny Harkey, will also keep her memory close.

Jean’s faith was direct and simple.  She remarked several times that she hoped upon her death that Jesus would spring out and shout, “Surprise!”  We trust she got the welcome she wanted.

Private family service under direction of Herndon-Fuqua Funeral Home Gurdon.