William “Bill” Strickland Peach, age 87 of Franklin, TN passed away December 14, 2023. Born to the late William Strickland Peach and Gladys House, he was the 6th generation of his family to call the community of Boston, TN home.
Mr. Peach was a young prodigy, beginning his retail career in Downtown Franklin at age 15 and graduating high school as both senior class president and valedictorian. His famous retail career includes the successful Pigg & Peach Men’s Shop, a clothing store that anchored Downtown Franklin for 53 years. Pigg & Peach was a pillar, a right-of-passage, and landmark.
His adult life was dedicated to his family, education, and his community–and his contribution is immeasurable.
He held a multitude of offices, including Jaycees President, Rotary Member, and the youngest Chairman of Merchants Division of the WilCo Chamber of Commerce. He served on the Franklin Housing Authority for 35 years, concentrating on diverse representation within that board. During his 16 years on the Franklin Special School Board, 5 new schools opened, and during his 8 years on the Williamson County School Board, 8 schools were opened. He is the only person to have served on both boards. He was a founding member of Pull-Tight Players Theater, Socrates Cafe Philosophy group, and the Middle Tennessee Authors’ Circle. He was a Downtown Franklin Association President when Streetscape was planned and initiated, transforming Franklin into the famous, brick-lined tourist and retail attraction it is now. He was also instrumental in the planning and creation of Main Street Festival, Pumpkinfest, and Dickens of a Christmas Festivals still held each year in Franklin. His influence can be seen in every corner of the city.
Bill Peach was a fierce advocate for public education. He, himself, was a college student during each decade from the 1950’s to the 2020’s. In addition to serving on both school boards, he often communicated with political leaders to ensure support for schools. He ran for State Representative twice with public education as his main platform. He was truly in awe of the Written Word and became an author, publishing 6 books, while being included in several other anthologies. He began with a play performed by Pull-Tight Players in 1978 and was honored in the WilCo Council for the Written Word Hall of Fame in 2001. The Mayor of Franklin declared September 22, 2001 to be Bill Peach Day in Franklin. Mr. Peach also empowered others to see the author within themselves and created opportunities for them to grow artistically within this community– from being a judge in the Power of the Pen for high school students, hosting panels at the Southern Festival of Books, and creating the Franklin Book Festival.
He is preceded in death by his brother, Phil House and sister, Earline Sparkman. Bill is survived by his wife of 59 years, Emily Peach; favorite daughter, Rebecca (Larry) Piggott; favorite daughter, Lucie (Danny) Logan; favorite daughter, Dea Peach all of Franklin, TN; sister, Burnetta Gary of Spring Hill, TN; grandchildren, Addison (Ellen) Clayton, Shelby Piggott, Emme Logan, Brant Piggott, Maddie Logan, Ford Logan, and Athena Peach; great-grandson, Strick Clayton. Funeral service will be held 2:00PM Thursday, December 21, 2023 at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Williamson Memorial Gardens. Active pallbearers will be Addison Piggott, Brant Piggott, Ford Logan, John Waynick, Phillip Waynick, and Josh Waynick. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Visitation will be 4-8PM Wednesday and two hours prior to the service at WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, 615-794-2289. www.williamsonmemorial.com