FORT WORTH – Ada Umbenhour Peeples passed away peacefully Sunday evening, February 11, 2018. Mrs. Peeples was 97. MEMORIAL SERVICE: A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, 2700 McPherson Avenue, with the Rev. Dr. Frederick Fields “Fritz” Ritsch III officiating. MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to St. Stephen, in her memory, is suggested. Ada Richards Umbenhour Peeples Cooper Lemon Dickerson was born January 4, 1921, in Fort Worth, the only child of Lottie Waldo Richards and David R. Umbenhour Jr. Throughout her long life, she had a happy disposition and a positive attitude, which she attributed to her parents and grandparents. Her cheerfulness was contagious and was a continuing inspiration to all who knew her. Her sunny outlook carried into her funeral instructions: “I want happy hymns, joyful singing, and smiles.” She was devoted to her family, friends, and to St. Stephen Presbyterian Church, where she was a lifelong member and the first female elder. She had a knack (and a heart) for befriending and nurturing younger people. Ada graduated in 1942 from Texas State College for Women, now Texas Women’s University, with a degree in homemaking. She had planned to teach, but that changed after a blind date with Homer Peeples. They married a few months later. Over the next eight years, Anne, David, Dick, and Baker were born. Ada enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom and made sure that her children's friends were welcome. The Peeples’ house became a hangout for many teenagers. There was always something to eat and someone to listen. Always stylish, Ada danced into her 90s, and swayed to the music when she could no longer find a partner. She loved entertaining and was an excellent cook (except for that ham loaf in 1961). Her children remember her as loving, fun, upbeat, tolerant, unflappable, wise and brave. She once chased a purse-snatcher at Piggly-Wiggly while carrying two bags of groceries. Homer died suddenly when Ada was 41, leaving her with four teenagers and a laundry business to run. Ultimately, she outlived four husbands—Homer Peeples, Lawson Cooper, Joe Lemon, and Donald Dickerson. She was a lifelong resident of Fort Worth, except for twenty years in Taos, NM, where she bought a house, made new friends, became involved in her new church, and (at age 73) helped found a chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). SURVIVORS: Ada was the beloved mother of Anne Bourland and Bob, David Peeples and Emily, Richard Peeples and Baker Peeples and Ellen Kerrigan, and she referred to Bob, Emily, and Ellen as “my other children”; grandmother of Jeff Bourland and Karen, John Bourland and Virginia, Katy Ross and Andy, Rebekah Massengill and Sam, Anne Peeples, David A. Peeples, Baker S. Peeples, and Susanna Peeples and Natalie; and great-grandmother of Mary Bourland Gatewood and Blake, Abby Bourland, Henry Bourland, Charlie Bourland, Harvey Bourland, Ada Bourland, Phoebe Ross, Haydon Massengill and Margaret Massengill.
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