Mary Ann Peckham

Mary Ann Peckham

Mary Ann Peckham, of Reliance, Tennessee, age 70, died on January 16, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

She was born August 24, 1951, in Richland Center, Wisconsin. She graduated from high school as valedictorian at St. Bede Academy in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and went on to an undergraduate degree and further graduate work at the University of Wisconsin in economics. Her earliest interests and passion for people, the land, and interpretation of it led her to a career in the US Park Service with the first assignments at Custer Battlefield in Montana followed by work at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, The Blue Ridge Parkway, and finally as the Superintendent at Stones River National Battlefield. She had special assignments in historical research and interpretation at Ft. Sumter and Tuskegee Park Service sites. She retired from federal service in 2001 but continued working in the public interest through historical preservation and education for two more decades. Her passion for history, relationships she made in Tennessee and nationally, and dedication to cultural preservation led her to serve as Executive Director of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, an organization dedicated to protecting, interpreting, and making accessible Tennessee’s surviving Civil War battlefields.

She left lasting accomplishments and relationships in places she worked and lived but most importantly through the people she touched. Her loving friends, her family, including seven siblings, their families and her life’s devoted partner Tom Darden and his family were with her physically or in spirit until the end. Her passion for a principled and independent life were part of her core being. She deeply valued living at the cabin in the mountains of East Tennessee tending the fire, splitting the wood, connect with neighbors, and teaching her partner Tom’s grandkids to feed the gray fox, blaze trail, and connect with land. Those that knew her can attest that she warmed both hands with the fire of life.

Her parents Cameron E. Peckham and Agatha Pulvermacher Peckham of Richland Center preceded her in death.

She is survived and loved by siblings and spouses Allan C. Peckham (Jane), Mark J. Peckham (Susan), Gary G. Peckham (Elizabeth), Paul N. Peckham (Julie), Gregory R. Peckham (Rosemarie), Jane M. Peckham (Lisa Frank), Thomas E. Peckham (Vicki), and their families, and by her close and devoted partner Tom L. Darden, his sons David B Darden, Tom Morgan Darden and their children Amelia, Elliott, and Lily.

Online condolences are available at www.staffordfuneralhomes.com. The Stafford Funeral Home in Richland Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

A burial service will be held in her hometown in Richland Center, WI this spring.

Online condolences available at www.staffordfuneralhomes.com. The Stafford Funeral Home in Richland Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.