Jonell Y. PEACE
Jonell Y. PEACE
  • January 12, 1940 - September 10, 2017
  • Glendale, Arizona

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Jonell Yvonne Penney was born January 12, 1940 to Dodds and Cozette Penney in
Denton, TX. Shortly after, the family moved to a house on her grandfather's farm in
Ranger, TX where her brother Raymond Dayle Penney was born in 1944. The home
they lived in had electricity but no running water or indoor plumbing, and they had an ice
box instead of a refrigerator.
Jonell went to Ranger Elementary and then Ranger High School where she graduated
in 1957. Growing up on a farm, she had a lot of interest in animals. She was a member
of Future Farmers of America, and she won Grand Champion several times at the
Eastland County Fair with her sheep.
After high school, she attended Ranger Junior College and then Texas Women's
University in Denton. She received her teaching degree and took her first teaching job in
Colorado. In 1963, she moved to Phoenix and started working as a librarian for the
Alhambra School District. She continued with them for 30+ years, serving as president
of the Alhambra District Association of Classroom Teachers (ADACT) for several years.
She was also editor-in-chief of the ADACT newsletter for several years. Through those
years of service to the school district, she continued her own education and eventually
earned her Master's Degree in Education.
After moving to Phoenix in 1963, she married Ed Philipp, and they had two sons, Brent
and Rob. Being a teacher and a librarian, she valued education, so she made sure the
boys had strict guidelines on what school grades were expected. Since she had the
summers off, she and the boys were able to make many trips back to Ranger and later
Baytown after her mother moved there.
As sometimes happens, she and Ed separated in 1984. In 1985, Jonell married Roy
Peace, a fellow teacher in the Alhambra School District. They married during a trip to
Washington D.C. for the National Education Association's national conference. With
teaching in common, much of Jonell and Roy's life involved teaching. They took a trip to
China with a group of other educators and, along with the usual tourist activities, they
were able to tour some of the schools in China. They toured a range of schools, from
elementary to college, to see how they compared with our schools here. After the school
tour, they had dinner with many of the education leaders for China.
From her early years on the farm, Jonell always had a love of animals, especially
chickens. She had live chickens as pets and for fresh eggs, but she also liked things
with chickens on them. She had knick knacks with chickens, pictures of chickens, and
anything you could think of with chickens on them.
Jonell was also crafty. She loved to make things. Through the years, she tried her hand
at different arts and crafts. She did macramé, stained glass, jewelry making, and in
retirement, she settled into doll making. She took numerous classes and competed in
doll shows, eventually moving up to expert class in the shows. She won numerous
awards for her dolls. Because she had such a love of doll making, she wanted to share
with others. She began teaching doll making classes herself. Jonell partnered with her
friend, Marianne, to form "Miss Mouse and Chicken Coop Creations" to teach doll
making classes and sell supplies. She continued to make dolls until her failing health
made it too difficult.
Jonell's enthusiasm for life and her infectious smile will be sorely missed by her many
friends and family.