Elaine Peeples

Elaine Peeples, age 75 of Canyon, passed away Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Memorial services took place at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 26 at Brooks Chapel with Rev. Rick Enns, pastor of First United Methodist Church, and Jim Brown officiating.

Following the service, a celebration reception was held at Hugo’s on the Square in Canyon at 4 p.m.

In the end, we are our stories. We all hope ours is a good one. Elaine’s is a very good one.

Elaine’s roadmap for her life: Have passion in everything you do and then do it. Never just do for yourself. Do for those you love.

First, throw as many parties as possible, but not just any party, the kind of parties people talk about and remember for years to come. Cuss and discuss politics with anyone brave and smart enough.

If you know Elaine at all, you know which color she bled. It was always about justice. Justice for all. Stay up all night sewing for your family and friends – bedding, window treatments, pillows, clothes, amazingly beautiful table clothes, fabulous costumes and the most beautiful, intricate Christmas stockings.

Make every holiday, no matter the holiday, the most special holiday. Decorate your home “to the nines,” not to impress but to make family and friends feel special, loved and comfortable.

Read books. Make books part of every day. A book over a bowl of Frosted Flakes curled up on the couch at the end of any day was highly recommended.
Surround yourself with smart and fun friends. Gather with them. Travel the world with them. Light up any room with a beautiful smile and an easy laugh.
Dance with your husband. Lastly, and most importantly, throw your entire self into your family.

Seventy-five years and 11 months ago, Elaine Crawley came into this world, took its measure and got busy. Born to Elvis and Ruby Crawley in Wellington on July 20, 1944, Elaine started building her own unique path early. As a child, she read incessantly. Books for her were the iPads of today. Her mother would order her “off the books” to go play outside.

Even at three years old, her friends describe her as different, composed and confident. Elaine had a mischievous side as well. She enjoyed terrorizing her mother and sister with dead mice and snakes, often holding them hostage on top of their kitchen cabinets. Luckily, all survived.

In high school, Elaine started dating a confident, some might say “cocky” young man by the name of Kent Peeples. Just arriving home from the U.S. Army, he was someone she’d known most of her life. When he returned, he could not believe the girl she had become – the most beautiful, confident, intelligent and different girl he had ever encountered. A life-long love affair began that never ended. In his words, “every day was a wonderland.”

On June 7, 1963, this beautiful couple married. A son, D’Ray, arrived the very next year. Almost four years later in 1967, their preferred child, D’Layne, was born. At that point, they were complete.

Education and learning were everything to Elaine. While raising a young family in both Canyon and Santa Fe, she received her bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University in history and journalism.

In 1971, she earned her master’s degree in political science, writing her thesis on “Ethics and the Constitution.” Thereafter, she started a long, storied legal career with Jim Brown and Bill Kelly.

Elaine was the first ever paralegal in Amarillo and the Panhandle to ever sit at counsel table. She sat “second chair” to Jim and Bill in some of the most relevant trials of their day. Her note passing is legendary. Her influence on young women in the legal field, immeasurable.

Instrumental in creating the Texas State Bar certification program for paralegals, she served as a charter member of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. She served on the board of directors, was the first elected chairperson of the board of directors and served on many committees.

Elaine was a charter member of the Texas Panhandle Association of Paralegals, served two terms as president and as an advisor to the board of directors.

Elaine earned the Texas Panhandle Association of Legal Assistants 1992 Member of the Year and received the Career Achievement Award from the Amarillo Women’s Network.

Elaine was preceded in death by her mother, Ruby Alice Crawley, her father, Elvis D. Crawley, and her 20-month old sister, Melba Ann whom she never had the privilege of meeting.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Kent Peeples; her son, D’Ray Peeples; her daughter, D’Layne Carter and husband Mike Carter; grandchildren Berkley Peeples, Tatum Burdis, Abbey Layne Carter and Molly Carter; a great grandchild, Kinley Hucks; a sister, Nancy Russell; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Elaine Peeples Women’s Leadership Scholarship at West Texas A&M University or to the national Alzheimer’s Association.

Leave a Comment