Joseph Peoples

May 5, 1962 - September 9, 2016
Houghton Heights, MI

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At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals)
P.O. Box 96929
Washington, DC 20090-6929
1 (800) 628-0028

Life Story / Obituary


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Joseph (Joe) Edward Peoples, 54, of Houghton Heights, Michigan, passed away on Friday, September 9, 2016, in Traverse City, Michigan, surrounded by friends. Joe was born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He grew up in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, and attended Clarksville High School.

Joe was an accomplished musician, artist, and poet. He played the trumpet and drums, performing in his junior high and high school’s award-winning marching, concert, and jazz bands. He was deeply inspired by his high school band director and mentor, Mercy Yrabedra, and his guidance counselor Charlene Lollar. His family laughs that during his school years Joe was rarely seen without a pair of drumsticks in his hands. He practiced rudiments on every available surface including household furniture, glassware, the dashboard of the car, and occasionally on the thigh of whoever happened to be sitting next to him.

After high school, Joe lived in Nashville, Tennessee. He traveled with Union Jack, a classic rock band led by his cousin and dear friend, Jack Browning. Joe moved to San Diego, California, in 1997 and lived with his long-time partner, Markley Quirk, until her death in 2011. He moved to Michigan that same year and put down roots in Houghton Heights. Joe was a gentle spirit and a kind, loyal and generous friend. His loved ones will always remember his hearty laugh, puckish smile, delightful sense of humor, and love of animals and nature. He had a green thumb and enjoyed tending house plants. He also made lovely, intricately painted bird houses.

Joe is survived by his mother, Donna Marie (Wright) Kieni, 73, of Nashville, Tennessee; 3 siblings, June Marie Peoples, 52, of Pierrepont, New York, and her husband, Joel Hurd; Julie Ann Peoples, 42, of Nashville, Tennessee, her husband, Walter C. Scott, Jr., and their children Kayla Howell, Christopher Scott, Brandon Scott, and Emily Scott; Edward Wayne Peoples, Jr., 48 of State College, Pennsylvania, his wife Karen, and their children Victoria and Mitchell Peoples; and cousins Jack Browning, Candace Moonshower, Susan Parham and Jayne Slate.

He is predeceased by his loving partner, Theresa Ann Ferro, cherished daughter of Joe and Judith of Houghton Heights, Michigan.

Joe’s family extends heartfelt thanks to Munson Medical Center and the dedicated doctors and nurses of the Intensive Care Unit; and to his beloved friends Matthew Snow, Heather Condee, Kyrin Condee, Kris Kerwin, Christine Smith, Beth Woolston, Jason Bont, Jim Moffet, Kristin Stey, and Christine Halfaker.

A memorial service will be held in Nashville, Tennessee. The date is yet to be determined.

Memorial gifts in his name may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), PO Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090-6929, 800-628-0028.