Elizabeth Peck

by Myrna Pearman

Beth was born on January 26, 1923 in Innisfail and married Albert in 1945. They lived the majority of their 63 years together in the Red Deer area and had four sons.

A smiling Elizabeth PeckBeth was an avid naturalist and especially loved birds. She, along with Mrs. Scoular, Joy Fowler and Helen Harris, formed the core of the Alberta Natural History Society in the early 1960s. Maxine O’Riordan, who joined the group in 1965, recalls that this group of women was very sincere, knowledgeable and committed. Other keen naturalists, including Eldon Neufeld, Mr. And Mrs. Stroschien, Gary Fabris and Fred Schutz, also joined the society around this time, which was renamed the Red Deer River Naturalists in 1977.

Beth and Albert built a unique home on their farm northeast of Red Deer and moved out there to enjoy many years of retirement. They had numerous bird feeding stations around their home and spent many hours watching the activity at these feeders. Beth was a keen photographer and cherished the natural areas that they had preserved on their farm.

When able, she would walk through these areas. After walking became difficult, she still enjoyed her special places by accessing them via quad. The Peck’s honoured this land by signing up 60 acres of it under the RDRN Habitat Steward program in 1987. They were one of our first Habitat Stewards. Beth and Albert always participated in both the May Species Count and the Christmas Bird Counts, and were regulars on RDRN summer outings. They also hosted an annual RDRN outing to their property, leading fellow naturalists on a hike through their beloved piece of paradise. The walks were always followed by a delicious lunch.

The Peck’s also generously paid the taxes for several years on a piece of property that RDRN held a conservation easement on (the Pear Property). Beth’s love of living things, including dogs and cats, was complemented by her long hours in her beautiful gardens. Her genuine interest in the lives of others led her to open her heart and her home to many immigrant families. Her love of animals led her to the occasional auction purchase of a horse, to give it a happy retirement home.

Beth Peck passed away on November 18, 2008 after a lengthy illness.