Retirement didn’t slow Gerald Peachey down

February 29, 2024

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If you believe the ads in AARP magazine, retirement is a time to travel, relax and focus on yourself. Fortunately for us at the Village at Valley View Retirement Community, Gerald Peachey didn’t get that message.  

Ever since Gerald Peachey moved into a cottage in the Village in 2014, his life has been filled to the brim with service to others. 

An avid gardener, Gerald made use of the extra land behind his cottage to plant a huge, bountiful garden. It is filled with everything from beans to peas, potatoes to tomatoes. And very little of it lands on his table. Instead, he raises the produce to give it away. He donates bushels of garden-fresh vegetables to his fellow villagers from spring until fall. (Even now, I’m sure he’s planning his 2024 garden, and how much he can grow to give away.) 

Gerald is always looking for a way to serve. He drives the Valley View van to off-campus events, providing transportation for those in the Village who have trouble driving themselves. He happily transports friends and neighbors to lunches, doctor’s appointments, and outings.  

Before retirement, Gerald served as a pastor of Barrville Mennonite Church, and it is a calling that continues to be a part of his heart. He frequently takes walks through the Village, and it is just a matter of time before he is joined by a neighbor… or two… or three. “People ask for advice, or for Gerald to pray for them,” his friend Eric Kurtz says. “He is constantly stopping to bless those around him.”  

When his beloved wife, Sue, died unexpectedly in 2022, he learned firsthand what it was like to live alone. And, in true Gerald fashion, he turned the pain into another way to give back. He reached out to every person who also lived alone in the Village and took them to lunch.  

“Gerald is a man of great faith,” Eric Kurtz adds. “He walks with God every day of his life. I cannot say anything more.”  


This article was contributed by writers in Valley View Village for the “Everyday Heroes” issue of the Juniata Valley Magazine published by Lewistown Sentinel.