LaRae Werner Peel passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family on April 28, 2021.
LaRae was born to Linford Behrman and Martha Alzina Willes Werner on July 8, 1934 in Mesa, Arizona. Her family moved to Burbank, California, when she was twelve years old. LaRae enjoyed all her school activities and did well academically, too. In ninth grade, she served as student body president and received the American Legion award. As a senior, she was honored to be chosen as the “Aloha [Senior prom] Queen,” president of the Girls’ League and as an “Honored Senior” (valedictorian) of Burbank High. She later attended UCLA and BYU, graduating summa cum laude in 1960.
A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LaRae married her eternal sweetheart, LeRoy Franklin Peel in the Mesa, Arizona, temple in 1955. Together, they had five children: Laurie (Mark) Dooley, Stephen LeRoy, Marilyn Elaine (Mike) Fish, Michael Benjamin and Barbra Ann (Joel) Galindo.
They lived in Provo, Utah; Hamilton, Montana and Kansas City, Missouri, for nearly 20 years before returning home to live in Mesa, Arizona, where she taught English and journalism classes in the Mesa Public Schools for over 25 years.
Music has been instrumental throughout her life. Being an accomplished musician, she played the organ at church for most of her adult life, as well as teaching piano lessons over many years and accompanying various soloists and choral groups throughout the years. Mom loved classical music, especially opera. A treasured memory for her was attending the Metropolitan Opera in New York City with her husband.
Upon retirement, she and her husband served two medical service/humanitarian missions for the LDS Church in Kathmandu, Nepal and in the Philippines. LaRae taught English to nursing students in Nepal and music lessons while serving in Manila.
LaRae was preceded in death by her parents, Lin and Zina Werner, two brothers, Willes and Robert Werner, and a sister, Elaine Werner Strong. She is survived by her husband, LeRoy, her five children, 23 grandchildren, 59 great-grandchildren, her brother, Dean Werner and sister-in-law Elona P. Cooley.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Hawes Ward LDS Chapel, 2265 S. Hawes Rd, Mesa, Arizona, with visitation from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Burial will follow at the Mesa City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of the Valley.