Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont
  Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont
 

Burket-Truby Funeral Home of Oakmont

Peffer, Jack




Jack Peffer PITTSBURGH, PA. A person who lived a life of compassion and service to others, John (Jack) Roscoe Peffer departed this world on April 22, 2019 at the age of 90. Jack was born August 13, 1928 in Natrona Heights, PA to Sara Robie Peffer and Roscoe Peffer, and was the youngest of three children (Elvira, Chester). After graduating from Har-Brack High School in 1946, Jack faced a difficult choice between a life as a minister, or a career in science. He opted for college degrees and a career as a Ph.D. Chemist, but also chose to be a devoted follower of Christ with a passion for action and helping others that left an enduring mark on the Pittsburgh community. Jack was a member of Wilkinsburg Christian Church, and served as Chairman of the Board, an Elder, Deacon and Trustee, as well as a mentor to many of its pastors. In 1968, in a time of social change and hardship for many, he helped to create the Wilkinsburg Community Ministry (WCM), a non-profit supported by area residents and congregations, that responds to human service crises in the community. Jack served as President of WCM, an Interim Director, and most recently Director Emeritus on the Executive Board. Today, WCM serves over 5000 people a year, including senior citizens, citizens with disabilities, at-risk youth and families who are economically challenged. Jack was constantly in action both locally and globally to give aid to those in need. In Pittsburgh, he delivered Meals on Wheels to thousands over his lifetime, and taught reading to the disabled with Easter Seals. With the World Council of Churches, he helped to lead Oikocredit, a funding agency that selectively provides investments to entrepreneurs in developing countries with the 3-fold goal of: a high social return, an environmental return, and a modest financial return. Jack also maintained church outreach / leadership roles in multiple other Disciples of Christ ministry groups throughout Pennsylvania and the USA. As age and retirement slowed his activities, Dr. Peffer received many awards from the community, including “Community Quarterback” of the Pittsburgh Steelers (2002) and the Mayor’s Proclamation for his 50-year commitment to the community of Wilkinsburg (2018). Jack Peffer worked his entire career as a synthetic polymer chemist for PPG Industries in Pittsburgh and was co-inventor of over 20 patents. While studying chemistry at Allegheny College, Jack met his wife Margery Dickey in the chemistry lab, and they married in September 1951. Science was a common theme in the Peffer household, and all three children followed careers in this realm, including Linda Powell (analytical chemist with DuPont); Richard Peffer (toxicologist with Syngenta) and Nancy Peffer (molecular biologist with J&J) – all now happily married (Jerry, Patty, Jeff) and enjoying retirement. Margery Peffer, Jack’s wife and loving partner for 68 years, enjoyed a career as a science librarian at Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, and with this diverse knowledge base Jack and Marge were unbeatable at “Trivial Pursuit”. They shared a love of classical music, singing in the church choir, long driving vacations with their children, and laughing together with dear friends from The Bethany Class. In his personal time, Jack enjoyed photography, singing, watching birds of all shapes and playing bridge. Jack and Margery have cherished spending time with their four grandchildren (Susan and Dana Powell; Emily and Eric Peffer), their spouses (Ishai, Derek) and more recently their two great-grandsons (Samuel and Morris Buchbinder). Jack’s life and actions were emblematic of his favorite Bible passage (Micah 6:8): “…and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” One of his favorite expressions was: “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying”. Jack will be missed by all those that he touched, but we also rejoice in remembering his kind spirit, his passion for taking action to make a difference, his love of family, and the shining example of a life well-lived. A memorial service commemorating the life of Jack Peffer will be held at Longwood at Oakmont, in the Woodlands Chapel at 2:00 pm on May 11, 2019, with a light tea and reception to follow. All those who knew him and wish to remember him are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations to Wilkinsburg Community Ministry (704 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15221) or Christian Church of Wilkinsburg (748 Wallace Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15221) are suggested.