Anna Mae Peace


Anna Mae Hale Peace, 80, of Gisela died April 4, 2001, and was buried in the Gisela Pioneer Cemetery April 7.

She was born Oct. 21, 1920, in Gisela, to Robert Duke Hale and Mary Bertha "Birdie" Neal Hale. She was born in her parent's house on the Hale Ranch with the help of doctor Christian Risser, who rode horseback from Payson.

Mrs. Peace's great-grandfather, Cornelius Jackson, and her grandparents, Will and Ellen Neal, moved to Gila County from Texas in 1889. The men rode horses while the women drove the wagons full of children and stocked with supplies. They settled several cattle ranches in Gisela, planted trees that still stand today and finished digging irrigation ditches the early Mormon pioneers had begun.

Mrs. Peace grew up helping her mother with their big vegetable garden every year and picking fruit that the family sold. She also spent a lot of time with her father and brothers, Robert and Ralph Hale, on roundups.

Mrs. Peace went to grade school in Gisela, then attended high school in Globe. She graduated in 1939.

In 1942, she and her brother Robert went to a country dance in Pleasant Valley. There she met and danced with the man she would marry, Calvin Peace.

They married Nov. 30, 1943, in Globe. He was on leave from the Army at that time. Mrs. Peace stayed at the Hale ranch to help her father. She helped him haul the hay from the fields to the barn with a wagon and team, and then bailed the hay. She rode with him and helped look after the cattle.

After the war, Mrs. Peace and her husband set up housekeeping in Young. Then in 1947, they moved to Gisela and bought the old Sam and Isabella Haught place from Riley Neal. While living there, Mrs. Peace gave birth to two daughters: Jayne Peace in 1949 and Jeanne Peace in 1952.

The Peaces lived in Payson for a few years while Mr. Peace started a hardware and feed store and excavation business. But they missed ranch life, so in 1961, they bought a ranch in Gisela from Riley Neal, the same ranch that Mrs. Peace's great-grandparents, Will and Ellen Neal, had established in 1891, and the same ranch the Peaces live on today. Seven generations of her family have lived on that ranch.

Mrs. Peace was an active member of the Mogollon Montoneras for 15 years, a founding member of the Gisela Cemetery Board for 20 years, the Gisela weather observer for more than 20 years, a charter member of the Tonto Cowbelles, and a charter member of the Daughters of the Gila Country Pioneers.

She was honored as the Gila County Pioneer Women of the Year in 1997, and she and her husband received the Pioneer Heritage Award in 2000.

Mr. and Mrs. Peace were married for more than 57 years.

She is survived by her husband, Calvin; two daughters, Jayne Peace and Jeanne Peace, both of Gisela; three grandchildren, Shawn Haught, Jennifer Peace, and Andrea Hainsworth; and four great-grandchildren, Hunter Haught, Hannah Haught, Andre Hainsworth and Anthony Hainsworth.

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