Robert William Peach

June 27, 2013 

Robert (Bob) William Peach, 88, of Cary, NC, went home to be with the Lord on April 26, 2013. He was born on October 11, 1924, in Chicago, IL, to the late Horace and Olinda (Hacker) Peach.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Shirley (McMahon) Peach; his sister, Elizabeth Peach Paynter, of Alhambra, CA; his children: Elena Lewis (Bruce) in Huntsville, AL; William in Wei Hei, China; Wesley (Priscilla) in Quebec, Canada; and Emily Hamilton (Kevin) in Roanoke, VA; 13 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Bob, born and raised in Chicago, enlisted in the Army in 1943, serving in the Signal Service battalion. He called his Army experience his “government-paid trip around the world”, as he spent time in both Europe and the Pacific Theater. On returning home, he married Shirley McMahon on June 12, 1946. That year he also graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial Engineering. He received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1949.

His first job was in packaging at Sears, Roebuck, in Kankakee, IL. He worked his way up to Quality Assurance Manager at Sears, a position he maintained for over 25 years. While there, he became a member, then a project manager for the ASQC (association of standards for quality control), and was a founder of the ISO 9000 international standards for quality. For three years he served as Project Manager for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Consortium. He was the editor of The ISO 9000 Handbook, and co-authored The Memory Jogger 9000. He served as a consultant to the World Bank, and was a member with the working group that developed the Quality Management systems for ISO 9004-1. He received the ASQC Edwards Medal in 1979, and was the first recipient of the ASQC Freund Marquardt Medal in 2000.

Bob was very involved in their local church, La Grange Bible, serving in many capacities, including Chairman of the Board, Elder, and Sunday School Superintendent.

In 1993, he and Shirley relocated to Cary, North Carolina, to Glenaire, a then-new Retirement Community. Bob continued to do consulting (and, thus, traveling), and he and Shirley became members and active participants at Cary Alliance Church. Bob was known for his quick wit, puns, and contagious good humor.

Most of all, though, he loved and served his Lord and Savior. The joy of the Lord was evident in his family life, the integrity of his business dealings, and his generosity towards church and mission needs. A testimony to his faithful prayer and godly example is the spiritual fruit of his legacy: amazingly, all thirteen of his grandchildren are believers, all following the Lord.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, July 27, at 1:00 pm at Cary Alliance Church, 4108 Ten-Ten Road, Apex, NC.

Online condolences at

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service