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Peggy June (Starkey) Bowles

June 7, 1933 ~ January 12, 2022 (age 88)


Peggy June Bowles, 88, formerly of Peru and Kokomo, IN, passed away Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at Heritage Pointe of Huntington.  She was born in Cass County, IN, on June 7, 1933, the daughter of Charles and Cleo Thomas Starkey. On June 19, 1955, Peggy married Benton “Benny” Bowles, Jr. at the Burrows Presbyterian Church, and he preceded her in death on February 18, 2018.

After graduating with honors from Delphi High School in 1951, Peggy attended Ball State University earning her BA in Education in 1955 and her Master’s in Secondary Education in 1956. Following graduation, Peg taught fourth grade in Muncie for a year, and then moved to Peru Community Schools where she taught at Holman, Ridgeview, Elmwood and Blair Pointe Elementary Schools, serving on state education committees and retiring in 2000 after 43 years of service. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority at Ball State, Psi Iota Xi Sorority of Peru, the Indiana Retired Teachers Association, the First Christian Church of Peru and the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Kokomo.

Peggy was an admired and beloved teacher by her students, co-workers and administrators. She had a love of learning that was infectious and believed you could accomplish anything with hard work, a positive attitude and compassion. She thought of and loved all her students as if they were her children. Even after retiring, she tutored at-risk high school students in Kokomo. One of them telling her that she was the only adult who had ever really listened to her. She also loved being a basketball and baseball coaches’ wife going to all the games and cheering loudly, fixing many meals for the teams and making scrap books of Benny’s many accomplishments. The players were family to them.

Peggy, the daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and friend loved life! Generous with her time, talent and resources to all. She loved being involved in the community, church and bible study, music and playing the piano especially accompanying the Peru Children’s Orchestra, art (which she minored in at Ball State), playing bridge with friends, and was an avid reader, especially of romance and mystery novels. But what she loved most, besides teaching and being a mother, was spoiling her 3 grandchildren. Hours were spent and memories made reading, singing, cooking, playing games, trains, legos, house, school and taking them on adventures big and small. All her life and even through these last years and the dementia, she had a radiant smile and personality that brightened everyone’s lives around her.

Surviving Peggy are her daughters, Elizabeth Doelling and her husband, Robert, of Fort Wayne, IN, and Catherine Petty of Kokomo, IN, and grandchildren, Caroline Doelling, Evan Doelling, and Zachary Petty. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Benton, and brother, Richard Starkey.

A private service will be held on Friday, January 21, 2022 with Pastor Joyce Harris of the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Kokomo, IN officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Miami County Helping Hands through the Eikenberry-Eddy Funeral Home, 84 W. Main St., Peru, IN.

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