Charles R. Peebles

Charles Robert (Bob) Peebles of Mason, passed away quietly at the age of 92 years, 9 months on February 28, 2022. He was born on May 31, 1929, in Oak Park, Illinois, the only child of Clarence and Nancy (Challacombe) Peebles. From his parents he learned a great love of music, reading, history, and the natural world. A graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Ornithology at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Parasitology at the University of Illinois. In the summer of 1952, he attended “Bug Camp,” the University of Michigan’s Biological Station on Douglas Lake in northern Michigan. There he met Elizabeth (Betty) Brede, they were married in 1954. In 1957, he took a post-doctoral research position at the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Puerto Rico. He joined the faculty of Michigan State University in 1965, teaching general education natural science courses until 2001.
For many years Bob taught a field natural science course for MSU’s Evening College program. During these Saturday morning hikes, his students learned to identify birds, trees, wildflowers, animal tracks and the natural communities in which they were found. Bob often “whistled in” chickadees, Baltimore Orioles, and other songbirds. Bob loved classical music and sang in the Sage Chapel Choir at Cornell as an undergraduate. He excelled at identifying pieces of classical music on the radio and loved going to live concerts. His large record collection included classical music, jazz, and American folk music of all kinds.
Preceded in death by his wife of 63 years. Bob is survived by twin sons, Walter (Amy) of Eaton Rapids, MI, and Will of Cullowhee, NC; grandchildren, Anita and Carl; four nieces and three nephews.
By his request, there will be no memorial service. Donations in his memory are welcome to the University of Michigan Biological Station, Fenner Arboretum, or the Mason Orchestral Society.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Mills Funeral Home, Shelly-Odell Chapel in Eaton Rapids. To leave online condolences for the family, please visit our website,