Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

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Las Vegas developer Peccole dies at 85

William P. "Bill" Peccole, a Las Vegas city commissioner of the early 1950s who later built the Peccole Ranch residential development and erected baseball fields in the city and across the state, has died. He was 85.

Peccole, a Southern Nevada resident for 68 years, died Wednesday at his home three days shy of his 86th birthday.

Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Palm Mortuary-Cheyenne. Visitation will be 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Interment will be in Memory Gardens.

Peccole, a baseball standout in his younger days, coached Southern Nevada youth baseball for more than 30 years. He organized Midget Junior Baseball in Las Vegas and coached the 1946 Las Vegas American Legion baseball team to its first state title.

As owner-operator of Peccole Realty and Insurance from 1946 to 1962 and later as one of Las Vegas' top developers, Peccole donated land to build several area baseball and softball fields. Ballfield complexes in both Northern and Southern Nevada are named for him.

In addition to developing upscale housing at Peccole Ranch in western Las Vegas, Peccole also developed the Charleston Plaza and Westland Mall shopping centers, the Nevada Financial Center, the Angel Park Firehouse, the Canyon Gate Country Club and the Queensridge and Badlands golf courses.

He served as a Las Vegas city commissioner -- today called city councilmen -- from 1949 to 1953.

During that period Peccole was a controversial figure who was frequently criticized for his conduct, including by the Sun and its late publisher Hank Greenspun.

For example, in 1953 the Sun reported that Peccole voted for the approval of a club for a city gaming license despite knowing that a member of his family owned more than 9 percent of the business and that the Peccole name had been left off the license.

Born Dec. 18, 1913, in Stockton, Calif., Peccole graduated from Sacramento High School in 1931 and came to Las Vegas a year later. His father operated the old Boulder Inn, which was frequented by Boulder Dam construction workers.

In the early 1930s Peccole played baseball for local amateur clubs. In 1935 Peccole joined the Elks Club and played ball for that organization.

Peccole graduated from UNR with a bachelor's degree in history and physical education in 1940. A member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, he was named that fraternity's outstanding athlete.

Peccole taught and coached at Eureka High School until entering the Army Air Corps in 1942. During World War II Peccole served as a physical training instructor. After leaving the service at the rank of captain in 1946, Peccole returned to Las Vegas to run his real estate agency and coach baseball.

In March 1966 Peccole was elected to the board of directors for First Western Savings and Loan Association. At the time Peccole was president of Southern Nevada Lands Inc., and Income Investment Inc. He also was vice president of Meridian Life Insurance Co. and a member of the executive committee of the University of Nevada Alumni.

He was past president of Charleston Plaza Inc., the State Board of Realtors and Southern Nevada Insurance Agents; served eight years on the Nevada State Museum Board; and was a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

In addition to being a longtime member of the Elks, Peccole was a member of the American Legion, Hualapai Club, Lions Club, Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Italian American Club. He was president of the Sons of Columbus and the Las Vegas Wranglers Baseball Club.

Peccole also was a founder of UNLV's Artemus Ham Hall at the university and a longtime Rebel supporter.

Peccole's awards included the Paul Hammel Nevada Independent Insurance Agent of the Year Award in 1959 and the Distinguished Nevadan Award in 1976. Peccole was elected to the LaSalle Club Baseball Hall of Fame in Sacramento in 1978. He also was the Italian American Club's 1989 Man of the Year.

In October 1995 the city of Las Vegas honored Peccole by declaring Bill Peccole Appreciation Day.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda Lamb Peccole; three daughters, Laurie Bayne, Lisa Miller and LeAnn Goorjian, all of Las Vegas; two brothers; three sisters; 16 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

The family said donations can be made in Peccole's memory to the William Peccole Baseball Fields at UNR or the UNLV Scholarship Fund.

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