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Peden School


By Virginia L. Peden

In September, 1952, Virginia LeTulle Peden assumed ownership of the school founded by Miss Tenie Holmes and known as "Miss Tenie Holmes Kindergarten" until her death in the summer of 1952. Under the direction of Mrs. Peden, the school was renamed the "Virginia L. Peden School." The building was given to the Bay City public school system by Mrs. Peden's uncle, V. L. LeTulle. In 1961 Mr. and Mrs. Peden purchased the lot and building and remodeled the building by enlarging the rooms and adding a covered back porch or play area for rainy days. A few years later, a bell tower was added on the roof to house a large bell with the pull ropes inside the building.

Older graduates of the first school are legion in Bay City, as are graduates of its successor, Peden School. Under the tutelage of Virginia Peden, Bess Yancy, Millie Simpson, Jeanne Goodman, and others, the school was well established in the educational system of this area.

The 50 to 75 young charges each year received a well-rounded preparation for grade school which included the teaching of phonetics, flash cards, and the use of the McKee System as it was stressed in the public school. Additionally, the youngsters received instruction in art, dancing, foreign languages (French and Spanish), and music. The Peden School Rhythm Band--its members attired in their school uniforms of navy blue blazers with school crests grey skirts or knee-Ienth trousers, and navy French tams--played an important role, performing before various clubs and organizations and on radio and television. Graduation from Peden School each spring was celebrated with a beautiful May Fete.

Mr. and Mrs. Peden had no children of their own; however, they cared for Bay City children in many ways for many years. In 1975, after twenty-three years, Virginia L. Peden closed the school and retired.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume III

Virginia LeTulle Peden, 82, of Bay City died September 10, 2000 at Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City. She was born August 29, 1918 to the late John James and Katherine Beach LeTulle.

Mrs. Peden was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and a long-time resident of Bay City. Her notable contributions to the community began in 1939 when she organized and led Girl Scout Troop #1 of Bay City and served as the Commissioner of Bay City Girl Scouts from 1944 to 1948. She was a charter member of the Bay City Study Club, which began in 1947, and the Bay City Junior Service League, which began in 1959. From 1952 until 1975, she devoted her life to educating children at the Peden School. She will be remembered and missed by all those whose lives she touched.

Survivors include husband of 61 years, Robert F. Peden, Jr. of Bay City; her sisters Jean Anderson, Hattie Ziegenhals and Juanita Matthes of Bay City and Ida Mae Taylor of Rockport, Texas, and numerous nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

Funeral Services will be 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 12, 2000 at the First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Sam Steele officiating. Interment will be at Cedarvale Cemetery. Pallbearers include Marc Harrington, Scott Peden, Phil Peden, Jr., Jim Matthes, James Lee Ziegenhals and Rusty Green. Honorary pallbearers are to be Louis Ziegenhals, Bruce Ziegenhals, Richard Taylor, Don Haley, Johnny LeTulle and Marc Landrum.

Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home. A00011A2000SP12

The Daily Tribune, Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Graduation, May Fete For Peden School Held

Ceremonies concerning graduation and a May Fete were held Thursday night at the high school gymnasium for members of the Virginia L. Peden School of Bay City. About 24 first graders and 30 kindergarten members were honored in the ceremony.

The program included a variety of events, all based on the royal theme as Rugeley Bachman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bachman, was crowned King, and Cathryn Sparks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Sparks was crowned Queen.

Prince and princess of the kindergarten were Patricia Reading and Allen Green and the duke and duchess were Jolane Evatt and Gary Yates.

The pince and princess of the first grade were Helen Harper and Robin Hood, while the uke and duchess were Kathleen Barrett and Dikki Mac Stanley.

Teachers of the school include Virginia Peden, Bess Yancey and Geraldine Rogers.

Kindergarten members are

Norma Jaye Bergstrom
Priscilla Cobb
Mirl Paula Denn
Debra Ann Denn
Jolane Evatt
Jerry Ross Garrett
Karen Jane Green
Allen Green
Marion Grover
Melinda Jane Hardy
Gail Harrison
Virginia Louise Hall
Kent Heckendorn
Frank Hurley, III
Karl S. Krumholz
Suchanna Frances Long
Frank H. Lewis, Jr.
Leslie Jan LeTulle
Michael David Mulligan
Carolyn Jean Pullig
Patricia Reading
Lynn Stewart
Harvey Schwartz
Lindsey Arthur Thompson
Jim Vaughan
Rebecca Ann White
Erwin Earl Ward
Betty Kay Walters
Gary Yates
Charlyn Zlotnik


First grade members are

Rugeley Bachman
Margaret Caroline Barkley
Kathleen Barrett
Jack Oliver Brannon
Michael Allen Blumberg
Gary Lynn Coffey
Jo Ann Crow
Bernard Ralph Denn
Beverly Kaye Graham
Charles Wayne Bola
Frank Henderson
Helen Jane Harper
Frank Hood, Jr.
Wayne Harvey
Robert Craig Kelly
Marsha Kay Law
William Max Laurence
Brigid Ann Naiser
Doyce Wayne Reeves
Cathryn Sparks
Dikki Mac Stanley
Stephen Olin Stanley
Walter Randolph Smith
Nicky Wiley

ROYALTY CROWNED--The royal couple shown above was honored at the Thursday night May Fete and graduation held at the high school gymnasium for first graders and kindergarten members of the Virginia L. Peden School. King is Rugeley Bachman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bachman, while the Queen is Cathryn Sparks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Sparks. There was a total of 54 students honored. Twenty-four were first graders and 30 were kindergarten.

Matagorda County Tribune, May 31, 1956