The loss of a great author and island friend: RIP Richard Peck

June 1, 2018
By Marcy Shortuse

Richard Peck made his first visit to Boca Grande in March of 2005 at the invitation of Pam and Larry Hannah. Richard agreed to lead a writer’s workshop to raise funds for the children’s area of the Johann Fust Community Library that had been damaged during Hurricane Charlie. He returned in 2016 and 2017 and again led workshops raising additional funds for the Fust Library as well as the newly refurbished range light.
Pam first met Richard in 1987 when she joined two of her teaching friends on a trip to England called, “The British Connection.” Over the years, Richard made numerous trips to Indiana, visiting his Alma Mater, DePauw University, and promoting his newest books for middle school students. Over the years, Pam and Larry have enjoyed many interesting dinners with Richard, learning of his recent travels (London being his favorite) and plans for his latest book. When Pam heard about the damage from Hurricane Charley at the Fust Library, she thought of Richard and called him to see if he would come and do a writer’s workshop and be a guest speaker to raise funds to repair the library. He agreed, and once here, he fell in love with Boca Grande.
Richard wrote a poem in a guest book after that first visit.
“A perfect visit with ideal friends, in a palmy paradise where summer never ends.”
Sadly, he was unable to return this past season, but his entry from his last visit was: “Soothing sun and sand and endless waves of laughter to keep grim midwinter at bay.”
He and his way with words will be greatly missed.
Mr. Peck’s obituary can be found at, or on the New York Times web site.