Wilfred Peele, a PATC stalwart from the late 1940s through the early ‘60s, died on Thursday, October 21, at his home in Sun City Center, Florida. His daughter, Laurie Potteiger (a long-time PATC volunteer, and employee of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy) and his son, Bruce Peele, were at his side.
Wilfred was known as “Wil” to his PATC hiking companions and other friends. The PATC Bulletins from the ‘50s and ‘60s are full of reports from Wil, documenting hikes, excursions, and work trips to build and maintain PATC hiking trails.
In addition to his role as a popular hike and excursion leader, Wil was a very active trail builder and maintainer. He worked on several significant relocations of the Appalachian Trail, and his work on the creation of the 3-mile route from the Wolf Gap Shelter to the Lost City Road was chronicled in a 1955 Washington Post article. Wil was the assigned overseer for numerous trails over the years, frequently maintaining several sections concurrently. In 1956, Wil was elected to the PATC Supervisor of Trails office, a position he held for two years.
Wil’s volunteer enthusiasm didn’t stop with his field work. He was a regular volunteer at PATC headquarters, helping to man the Cabin and Hut reservations desk. Wil reminisced, in his later years, about the days when “it only cost $1 per person per night to rent the cabins.” He also helped assemble and print the Appalachian Trailway News (the newsletter, at the time, of the ATC).
The family of Wilfred Peele has asked that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (http://www.patc.us/store/donate.htm) or the Appalachian Trail Conservancy