An educator at heart, Willie C. Peele transitioned from earth to glory on Monday, May 18, 2020
at Vidant Medical Center –Greenville, North Carolina.
Willie C. Peele was a lifelong resident of Martin County, North Carolina. He devoted his entire
adult life to enhancing educational opportunities for many of the citizens of his community.
Mr. Peele’s formal professional education began at Elizabeth City State Teacher’s College in
Elizabeth City, North Carolina, now Elizabeth City State University, where he earned a Bachelor
of Science Degree in Elementary Education. He later earned a Master of Elementary Education,
Master of Administration, and an Educational Specialist in Administration degrees from East Carolina
University in Greenville, North Carolina. Additional training was achieved through the
Principals Executive Program (PEP) at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Mr. Peele’s professional career started as a teacher at East End School. Later he taught at E.J. Hayes
School and Williamston Middle School. He became principal of East End School and E. J. Hayes School.
Because of his ability to motivate students to achieve, he went on to become assistant
superintendent and later superintendent of Martin County Schools.
Mr. Peele touched several generations while serving Martin County Schools for thirty-five years
in the capacity of a Teacher, Principal and retiring as the first African-American Superintendent.
Some of Mr. Peele’s professional affiliations included Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.,
Mid-East Commission on Aging, Nursing Home Inspection Team, Treasurer of E. J. Hayes
Alumni Association, Martin Community College Board of Trustees, Martin General Hospital Board,
NCAE Member, NCRSP, National Education Association, American Association of School
Administrators, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. After retirement in
1999, Mr. Peele was not content with the plight of youth involvement in the local community.
He decided to start a summer program to bridge the gap between the end of school and the
beginning of the new school year so that students would not forget what they had learned
during the school year. This program that he founded was his signature achievement and is
currently known as the “Smithwick Chapel Year-Round Enrichment Program.”
Mr. Peele is survived by his loving devoted wife –Margaret L. Peele; his loving son –Clifton Lemar Peele;
his brother –Louis W. Peele (Vivian); and his nephew whom he raised as his own –Reginald S. Peele.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions mandated by Governor Roy Cooper, there will be a walk-thru
viewing on Thursday, May 21, 2020 during the hours of 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM at
Manson Mortuary, Incorporated –Williamston, North Carolina.
There will also be a walk-thru viewing on Friday, May 22, 2020 during the hour of
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM at Smithwick Chapel Church of Christ –Williamston, North Carolina.
The celebration of life will be by invitation only on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM at
Smithwick Chapel Church of Christ –Williamston, North Carolina with Vice-Bishop William T. Collins, Sr.
The service can be viewed via livestream at www.mansonmortuary.com on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to be given to
Smithwick Chapel Year-Round Enrichment Program 5710 Fire Department Road Williamston, NC. 27892
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