Local News Archive
Print Issue: September 4, 1997
Father Peacock Dies At St. Thomas More
DECATUR--Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated Sept. 4 at St. Thomas More Church for Father Joseph Peacock, who died Aug. 31. Burial followed in Arlington Cemetery. The wake service in the church was held Sept. 3.
Father Peacock, 70, had a history of heart trouble and diabetes. He was found dead in his room the evening of Aug. 31.
He had celebrated two Masses that Sunday morning and the Vigil Mass Saturday evening. A participant in the Vigil Mass said he seemed full of exuberance and joy as he gave his homily and in fine spirits as he greeted Massgoers afterwards.
In his homily he spoke candidly to the congregation, saying that he was rereading The Confessions of St. Augustine and discovering new insights about God every day.
Father Peacock was ordained a Catholic priest in 1978. Before embracing the Catholic faith he had served as an Episcopal priest.
He was named founding pastor, his first pastorate, of St. Benedict in the developing Duluth area in 1987. By the summer of 1990, the fast-growing congregation was worshipping in the first building constructed, a large all-purpose structure for worship, religious education and church offices.
Angie Stokes worked closely with Father Peacock, doubling as church secretary and religious education coordinator in the parish's earliest days. "I'm going to miss him dearly," she said of her friend and former pastor. "He was very loving and treated everyone as family. He always had time for anybody...He was truly spiritual, he loved God very much...and loved being a priest."
Stokes recalled one time Father Peacock celebrated a baptism while experiencing a heart attack. Afterwards he said he needed to go to the hospital.
Another founding member of the Duluth parish, Renee Livernois, remarked of his dedication to the priesthood and his faithfulness to celebrating daily Mass, even before starting his day off. "He was truly the most spiritual priest I've ever known."
Father Peacock retired in 1992, leaving St. Benedict's to reside at St. Thomas More where he continued to serve in a priestly capacity.
After his ordination Father Peacock served as parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, and the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta.
A native of Blackshear, Ga., he is survived by his sister, Mrs. Marian Bernard of Savannah, a niece and three nephews.