Herbert George "Herb" Peppard
Herbert George Peppard (July 7, 1920 - June 12, 2019)
Our Hometown Hero, Herbert George Peppard, passed away peacefully on June 12th, 2019, at the age of 98, surrounded by his three children.
Herb, proud family man and lifelong resident of Nova Scotia, was born in Truro on July 7th, 1920, the first son of Herbert and Ida (Henderson) Peppard. He was the loving husband of Greta (MacPhee) and father of Herb, Lark and Rosalee.
Herb began his education across the street at Alice Street School, and was a lifelong learner, who with great determination graduated with his B.Ed. from Dalhousie University in 1980.
In WWII, Herb was a selected member of the First Canadian Parachute Battalion, and then a highly decorated commando in the undefeated Canada-USA First Special Service Force (FSSF, "Devil’s Brigade") receiving the Silver Star for "Gallantry in Action" in the Italian Campaign. He returned to his beloved hometown, family and sweetheart. Herb and Greta married June 10th, 1946 and were inseparable through the challenges of her battle with polio in the early 1950s. With the support of the people of Truro, they realized their dream of raising a family.
As a teenager during the Depression, Herb worked at Spencer Brothers and Turner Ltd., and after the war he had an Electrical Contracting business. He also worked at the Canadian National Railway Express and the Post Office. From 1970 to his retirement in 1987, he worked as an Electrical Construction Teacher at the Lunenburg Regional Vocational School in Bridgewater, NS. Countless clients, colleagues and students continually recount stories of Herb’s positive impact on their lives and how he always had a smile and a song.
Herb made friends of strangers, and family of friends, cherishing new and old friends alike. He lived a life filled with community service, writing, poetry, public speaking, music, weight lifting and body building. Herb threw his heart into his community, devoting over a quarter century of his retired life to volunteer service.
Retirement saw him travel the world – Australia, Europe, The Great Wall of China, India’s Taj Mahal, The Great Pyramids in Egypt – adventures galore – but his favourite holidays were with family and friends at his cottage on Amet Beach. Perhaps Herb is best known for his warm and engaging stories featured in his newspaper columns "Dispatches" in the Truro Daily News, and "Life’s Journey" in Hub Now. In 1994, his poignant memoir, The LightHearted Soldier: A Canadian’s Exploits with the Black Devils in WWII was published by Nimbus Publishing.
A few highlights of Herb’s numerous accomplishments and awards are:
USA Silver Star (awarded for Gallantry in Action)
USA Bronze Star (awarded for Heroism/Outstanding Achievement)
Congressional Gold Medal FSSF (USA’s Highest Civilian Award)
Sgt. Herbert Peppard Silver Star Award (annually given to Canada’s top Special Service Soldier)
Life Member and executive of the Royal Canadian Legion Colchester Branch 26, Truro/Nunavut
Founding member and President of the Veterans’ Widows and Widowers Association
Herb initiated the Veterans Memorial Highway Garden project and saw it to fruition
Nova Scotia Masters Bodybuilding Champion in 1983 (Herb was age 63) and again in 1988 (age 68)
Inducted into the Colchester Sport Hall of Fame for the Sport of Bodybuilding
Two-time Nova Scotia Toastmasters Champion
Canadian Parliament recognized Herb Peppard as a "True Canadian Hero"
In 2015, Herb was the only Nova Scotian and the only FSSF member among 50 individuals and groups, to receive a 50th Anniversary Canadian Flag in recognition of the outstanding contribution he made to Canada
In 2016, on the former site of Alice Street School, The Town of Truro created Herb Peppard Park in his honour
Herb was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Greta (MacPhee); his parents, Herbert and Ida (Henderson) Peppard; sisters and brothers-in-law: Dorothy and Bernard DeCoste, Iola and Loran Morrison, Patricia and John Rioux; brother and sister-in-law: Raymond and Shirley (nee Chisholm); and brothers-in-law, Russell Fielding and William Cummings.
Herb is survived by his three children: Herb (Deborah), Lark (Carmen) Hewer, Rosalee (Allan) Lockyer; seven grandchildren: Isabel, Herb V; Candle (John) Larkin, Oak (Cynthia) Hewer, Ginger (Brian) Lafave; Luke (Lauren) Lockyer, Mosher (Christine) Lockyer; and four great-grandchildren: Ashton Hewer, Sky Larkin, Summer Larkin, and North Lafave.
Herb is also survived by siblings: Louise (nee Peppard) Fielding, Albert and Kaye (nee Cox), Betty (nee Peppard) Cummings, and Bill and Betty (nee Sutherland); and brother-in-law Tom and Jean (nee Kingston) MacPhee; as well as cherished extended Peppard and MacPhee families, long-time companion Karen Taylor, and caregiver Mary Carrier.
The family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Veterans Memorial Hospital (Camp Hill) in Halifax for their exceptional love and care for our dear father.
Herb will be included in the Camp Hill Memorial Service on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 1:30 pm in the main floor auditorium.
In Truro, visitation will take place at Mattatall-Varner Funeral Home, 55 Young St., on Saturday, July 6th from 2 PM - 4 PM and from 6 PM - 8 PM. Members of Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 26, Truro, will conduct a Legion Tribute Service for Herb at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 6, 2019, at the funeral home.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the First United Church, 711 Prince St., on Sunday, July 7th (Herb’s birthday) at 2 PM.
Donations are welcome for Herb Peppard Park by mail or online. Please mail donations to: Herb Peppard Park, c/o The Town of Truro, 695 Prince Street, Truro, NS B2N 1G5.