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ames Ralph Peeler, Jr.

Minister James Ralph Peeler, Jr. aka "Ralph," aka "Jim," 74 years old, went to rest in the arms of his Father on April 23, 2024 at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C.

He was born March 11, 1950 to the late James Ralph Peeler, Sr. and Lucille Nance Adams. He was raised by his grandparents, the late Ralph and Ellen Corry Peeler. He was preceded in death by his twin brother John Randolph Peeler, brother Willie Trammell, granddaughter Aariyonna Brand, and sister Ollie Mae Ross.

Ralph was married to Dr. Cora Ford Peeler for 54 years. They met at Camp High School at a school social. If anyone ever saw Ralph dance, you have to know that he was a "smooth operator" on the dance floor. That's probably how he swept Cora off of her feet. After dating about 3 years, he popped the question while he was serving in the United States Marine Corps. Cora always says, "I don't know what we were thinking" in reference to being joined in holy matrimony on December 25, 1969.

Ralph was in the first graduating desegregated class of 1968 at Crest High School. He ranked as a Private E-1 and was a heavy truck operator in the United States Marine Corps. He retired from Eaton Corporation in 2012, but he would not let any grass grow under his feet! He continued working full time at different factories. He was most recently employed at KSM Casting as a machine operator. If you can learn anything from Ralph, it is you can't run from work! If you want anything in life, you have to work for it and he did that.

Ralph was such a trooper that he worked full time while battling lung cancer and receiving immunotherapy. If you asked him how he was doing, his response was, "I feel alright or I'm alright." He never complained about what he was going through. He said, "If the doctor could do something to take this pain away, I'd be all right." We didn't realize it then, but Doctor Jesus did something about the pain and now he is pain free!!

Being raised in the Shoal Creek community, Ralph's faith based religion and family roots ran deep in Shoal Creek Baptist Church. As a young man, this was deemed as his home church. After marriage, he attended and later joined First Baptist Church, Earl with Cora. While at First Baptist, he served in the men's choir and ministry department.

He led his family on the foundation of faith and love. He loved and protected his wife and caretaker, Dr. Cora Ford Peeler. Up until he took his last breath, he pledged his undying love for her. The day before he passed, he shared an intimate moment with her when everyone had left the room. He called her to him and asked her to lean in close. He told her, "I love you."

Into their union, 3 children were born. He loved his kids and wanted to see them be successful. In his words, "I love y'all the same. I want all y'all kids to be the best you can be, where mama and daddy can be proud of y'all. Y'all can handle business if we are not around. That's all I'm saying!" If you let each of us tell it, we ALL claimed to be the favorite! The truth of the matter was, his grandkids were his favorites! He held a special bond with each of them. We knew that there was a time and place for everything. He was like a silent assassin. He didn't say a lot, but when he did....you better be moving! If he provided you with insight or directions, you better take heed. His spoken words contained substance!

Because of his selflessness and love for family, there were several family members who he and Cora welcomed into their home over the years. He always wanted to see people becoming the best version of themselves.

Left to cherish fond memories are his wife, Dr. Cora Ford Peeler, his children, Lamar (Pam) of Gaffney, S.C., Patrice (Aaron) Brand of Irmo, S.C., and Wesley (Latoya) of Earl, N.C. His god-daughter, Cierra Ervin and grandson, Malcolm Peeler were also raised in the home. The legacy of Ralph will continue through his grandchildren: Jalen Peeler, Zoe Glenn, Aaron Brand, Jr., Diamond Brown, Lamar Peeler, Jr., Paedyn Brand, Jurnee Peeler, Zamod White, and Jaxon Peeler, and god-granddaughter Lakisha (Mark) Lawrence. Ralph loved his siblings: Ralph McKissick, Dr. Elizabeth Graham Cop (Nick), Leroy Peeler, and Teresa (Walter) Bostic, his aunts Betty Nance, Mary (John) Jordan, and Christine Nance. His sisters and brothers-in-laws loved him like their brother: Dr. Mary (James) Brooks, Nettie Surratt, Minnie (K.P.) Petty, Albert (Sandra) Ford, Irene Ford, Kenny Ford, and Nancy Ford. PawPaw or Uncle Ralph had a hand in raising several of his nephews and nieces. He leaves great times and memories to a host of cousins, friends, and colleagues.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 3:00 PM at Shoal Creek Baptist Church. Burial will follow at First Baptist Church in Earl with military honors. The family will receive friends from 2:00 PM until 3:00 PM on Wednesday as well as at the home daily after 12:00 Noon daily.

Thank you to the medical teams at The City of Hope in Neunan, GA, Atrium Health Cleveland Hospital, and Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center.


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