Major General Peel (Ret.) died on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan, Texas, after a short illness.
Major General Peel was born in Bonham, Texas, and attended Honey Grove High School in Honey Grove, Texas. He attended Ohio State University at Columbus, Ohio in 1943, under the Army's Specialized Training Program, and Edinburgh University at Edinburgh, Scotland in 1945, under the Army's Training within Civilian Agencies Program. He graduated from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in 1948, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education. He taught Vocational Agriculture at West High School in West, Texas, and at Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas.
He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy at Rolla, Missouri (now the University of Missouri at Rolla) under the Army's Civil Schooling Program in 1958, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He also graduated from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1963, and the Army War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1969.
Major General Peel served in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. His combat engineer battalion constructed the only Floating Bailey Bridge built during World War II across the Rhine River at Bad Godesberg, Germany, in 1945.
He also served tours of duty in Arctic Canada, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Vietnam. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action in Vietnam in 1967. His other military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, three Legions of Merit, The Air Medal, and various service and campaign medals.
Major General Peel retired from the United States Army in 1979, and returned to Bryan after over thirty years of active military duty. He served as Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning and Construction in the Texas A&M University System for twenty-two years, and was responsible for managing the design and construction of over 1.77 billion dollars' worth of construction for the A&M System.
This included projects at Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Tarleton State University, Texas A&M International University, West Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Texas A&M University-Texarkana.
Upon his retirement from the Texas A&M University System, the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System conferred on him the title of Vice Chancellor Emeritus.
Major General Peel was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Earline. Survivors include his son, Robert Wesley Peel and wife, Dr. Cindy Judice Peel of Friendswood, Texas, and his grandsons, David Peel and wife Jennifer, Michael Peel and wife Heather, and Matthew Peel all of League City, Texas. He is also survived by his daughter, Linda Kay Ray and husband, Jim Tom Ray of Everett, Washington, and his granddaughters, Sara Ray Burdick and husband Beau of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, and Kelsey Ray of Bellingham, Washington. He also has four great-grandchildren, Blayke, Benjamin, and James Peel and Miles Burdick.
Because of the seriousness of the COVID pandemic, the services will be a private family service. A public memorial service celebrating his life will be held when deemed safe.
Memorials may be made to the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University, 505 George Bush Dr. College Station, Texas 77840.
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