|Vernon Peeples with Cathy Graham and Serena Wyckoff of Copperfish Books.|
Mr. Peeples’ ancestors arrived in the Punta Gorda area in the 1830s. The fourth generation member of his family to serve as a Florida State legislator, Mr. Peeples began his political career as a page in the Florida Legislature when he was only 11. He served in the Florida House for 14 years. His many accomplishments included initiating important transportation legislation and extending the community college system in Florida including bringing Edison College to Charlotte County (now Florida Southwestern State College).
|Vernon Peeples with Mary Figg, former state legislator and Tom Gustafson, former Speaker of the Florida House|
Ed Wotitzky noted that Mr. Peeples’ greatest contributions were in education, where he almost singlehandedly spearheaded the funding to have Florida SouthWestern State College, the former Edison State College, build a campus in Charlotte County. He also pointed to Mr. Peeples role as historian for Punta Gorda and lauded the collection he has maintained on area history.
Gene Murtha, President of the Punta Gorda History Center, thanked Mr. Peeples for the contribution of his massive local history collection to the Center and noted that progress was being made to establishing a permanent location for the collection at County building on Grace street.
Mr. Peeples talked about the importance of education, stressing "Democracy can’t survive without educated people.” During his remarks he also spoke fondly of his wife, Edna Jane, who recently passed away. He called marrying her the greatest accomplishment of his life.