Howard (Sandy) Ripley McPeck, Jr. passed away March 23, 2013 while on vacation in Venice, FL. The cause of death was a previously undiagnosed rare pulmonary inflammatory disease. He was 71 years old.
Sandy was born in New Bedford, MA on May 22, 1941, and had been a Marion, Mass. summer resident since birth, moving there permanently in 1994. He was the son of Howard Ripley McPeck, who was also raised in Marion, and Eleanor (Crain) McPeck. He is survived by his wife of nearly 22 years, Susan (Knopf) McPeck, his sister, Eleanor Morgan McPeck of Cambridge, MA, his three children and five grandchildren: daughter Sarah McPeck Shaw of Westport, CT, her husband John and their children Eliza and Lydia; daughter Alexandra McPeck Beverly of West Hartford, CT, her husband Russell and their children Maren and Walker; son Bennett Mitchell McPeck of Ballard, WA and his daughter Liliana, and by former wife, Deborah (Mitchell) McPeck of Perrysburg, OH. He also leaves behind four step-children: Christian Kaldes, Nicole Kaldes Goehl, Suzanne Atwill and Andrew Atwill, as well as four loving step-grandchildren with another expected in July. Dearly missed by all his relatives and friends, Sandy was a loving husband, father and grandfather – known for being reliable, charitable, funny, warm and wise.
Sandy attended St Alban’s School for Boys, Washington, DC, Williams College, Williamstown, MA, and Brown University, Providence, RI. He began his teaching career at Metairie Park Country Day School, Metairie, LA. He then spent 27 years teaching English, coaching, mentoring and holding various administrative positions, including Assistant Headmaster, at Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo, OH. The last 10 years of his career were spent teaching English at the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. Sandy’s teaching philosophy focused on “a child being a seed which we nurture and watch grow, rather than our trying to mold the child like clay.” Many of his students took the time, years after their graduation, to thank him for his guidance toward their self-discovery.
Sandy took great pleasure attending his grandchildren’s various sporting events by following their team rankings faithfully and proudly cheering them on. Gardening, and making his surroundings beautiful, also occupied much of Sandy’s leisure time. His love of pastoral landscapes translated into his passion for creating impressionistic paintings, a hobby he began at an early age and continued until his death.
At his request, his service will be private. Memorial donations may be made to benefit the Schooner Ernestina in New Bedford, MA. Sandy once had the opportunity to sail on her for several days and was inspired by the experience in ways both educational and spiritual. Donations will provide for the maintenance, equipment, manning, programming and operation of the schooner as a sail training vessel, school ship, and educational enterprise. Sandy McPeck – Schooner Ernestina Fund, c/o Eastern Bank, 340 Front Street, Marion, MA, 02738.