Elbert Herbert Peckham was born in October 1931 to the parents Samuel Elbert and Catharine Peckham.
Elbert, or Al, as he preferred to be called, was number four of nine children in the Peckham family. He was raised on a dairy farm and learned responsibility and hard work in his formative years. Upon graduation from High School, he joined the US Air Force and served in the Korean and Viet Nam wars. He trained as a medical corpsman, a jet engine mechanic, a ballistic missile technician and as an aerial surveillance specialist during his 21 year career.
Al met and married his beautiful wife, Joyce Prestridge, in 1959. Al & Joyce had two sons, William Allen and Steven Elbert, who were the center of their life as they traveled and lived where the military career required. Memories are reflected in their numerous photographs of the events of the Peckham family as they enjoyed life, friends and family. The family enjoyed traveling, camping and all sorts of recreation activities. Al and Joyce enjoyed crafts and unique items made of wood. Al constructed family furniture and items which displayed skilled craftsmanship and quality.
Retiring from the US Air Force in 1974, Al began a new career as a Building Inspector for the City of Tucson. Here he became an integral part of the management team needed to develop processes and procedures for the control and assurance of construction in a rapidly growing city. Al was cited for his significant contributions to his profession during those years.
After retiring from the City of Tucson, Al and Joyce moved to Sun City West where they joined the Palm West Community Church. They enjoyed service in the church as well as their crafts and travel with recreation vehicle groups. Al became the president of two separate RV clubs.
Joyce passed in 2006 shortly after enjoying a trip to Hawaii with the Peckham’s two sons, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Soon after, Al became seriously ill and required surgery and a long period of special medical care. Al fell in love with his medical caregiver, Marilyn Alcantara, and they enjoyed life together until her passing in 2013. Al and Marilyn led the Singles Group in their church and enjoyed Christian fellowship in their service.
Left alone, Al devoted much time to woodworking. He made many items for sale in the SCW Crafts Store and quickly became known as a wonderful wooden toy maker. He made hundreds of toys that were given to disadvantaged children. After moving to Royal Oaks in 2014 he pushed his coworkers in toy making and they were able to make and donate over 3500 handcrafted toys to children in 2015. He was truly a Toy Maker. Al’s eyes would light up each time he gave a toy to a child.
Al had many friends and he will be long remembered for his loving heart and helping hands. Al was faithful to his Lord and daily displayed his walk with Jesus.
Elbert is survived by sons, Allen and Steven, Daughter-in-law Gretchen, grandson Andrew and granddaughter Sara. (And a host of friends and acquaintances)
Friday, May 13, 2016 – 1 PM Graveside Ceremony with Military Honors
National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona
23029 North Cave Creek Road
Phoenix, AZ 85024
Saturday, May 14, 2016 – 1 PM Celebration of Life Ceremony
Palm West Community Church (PWCC)
13845 W. Stardust Blvd.
Sun City West, AZ 85375
Royal Oaks Residents: Transportation will be provided to the Celebration of Life Ceremony at PWCC. Please sign up at the front lobby by 3 PM Friday May 13th.