Senior Judge Thomas G. Peoples Jr., 77, Altoona, died at 9 p.m. Thursday at UPMC Altoona after a brief illness.
He was born in Altoona, son of the late Thomas G. and Alma M. (Shoemaker) Peoples. He married Maureen McManus on May 14, 1966, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Altoona.
Surviving are his wife; three children: Thomas G. Peoples III of Burkburnett, Texas, Amy Dudukovich of Columbia, Ind., and Jennifer A. Yourkavitch of Crozet, Va.; eight grandchildren; and a sister, Mary Virginia Castellana of Seal Beach, Calif.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Nancy M. Morell.
Thomas was a 1953 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958. He received a Juris Doctorate from Dickinson School of Law in 1964. He was admitted to the Bar of Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1965 and admitted to practice before all appellate courts of Pennsylvania and before the United States Court of Western District of Pennsylvania.
Judge Peoples was in private practice from 1965-80. He served as First Assistant District Attorney of Blair County from 1974-76 and District Attorney from 1976-80. He was elected Judge of Common Pleas of Blair County in 1980 and served as President Judge from 1980 to December 2005.
Judge Peoples was a part-time faculty member of Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Criminal Law and Criminology, the instructor for the first district justices of Blair and Cambria counties when that office was created to replace the justices of the peace. He was a teacher, coach and Assistant Commandant of Manlius Military School, Manilius, N.Y., from 1958-61. He served as Senior Judge at Blair County Court of Common Pleas, Hollidaysburg, with 25 years of service.
Judge Peoples' professional memberships included the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, where he was a former member of the executive committee and former chairman of the Juvenile Court section.
Judge Peoples' public service and community activities include having served as co-incorporator and member of the original advisory board of Blair County Legal Services Corporation. He served as past president of the board of trustees of Mercy Hospital, Altoona, and its successor, Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital, and was presently a member of the board of directors of Altoona Regional Health System, now known as UPMC Altoona.
Judge Peoples served as present chairman of the board of directors and as former solicitor of Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg. He was presently a member of the board and former president of Child Advocates of Blair County, the sponsor of Head Start of Blair County, and was former chairman of the advisory board of Blair County Children and Youth Services.
Judge Peoples was a member of the President's Cabinet at St. Francis University. He was co-founder and former advisory board member of the Blair County Domestic Abuse Project and a member of the Attorney General's Task Force on Domestic Abuse.
Judge Peoples received the Distinguished Citizen Award from Penns Woods Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the St. George Award of Scouting. He was awarded the Prince Gallitzin Cross by the Bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese for service to the church and community.
Judge Peoples was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and attended Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona. His hobbies were woodworking and cabinet making.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, at Jones Funeral Home, where a vigil for the deceased will be held during the visitation. A funeral Mass will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona, with Bishop Mark Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, presiding. Committal rites will be held at Calvary Cemetery.
In memory of Judge Thomas G. Peoples Jr., donations may be made to Garvey Manor Nursing Home, 1037 S. Logan Blvd., Hollidaysburg, PA 16648, or UPMC Altoona.