Dr. Henry Carl Peco, was born on April 11, 1906 in Acqua Viva Collecroce, Campobasso, Italy. His father immigrated to St. Thomas, Ontario in 1908. Dr. Peco and his mother followed on December 10th, 1910. Dr. Peco was the eldest of 8 children born to Felice Peco and the former Mary Antonia Sylvestre and the only child born in Italy. All of his siblings were born in St Thomas. His father was a labourer and his siblings were; Marie Gidina Peco, Mamie Dominica Elizabeth Peco, Josephine Hazel Helen Peco, Caesar Angelo Peco (who died in Chatham at the age of 18), Daniel Peco, John Patrick Peco and Catherine Peco. Dr. Peco attended Holy Angels School and St. Thomas Collegiate Institute (in St. Thomas), before attending university.
Dr. Peco attended Western University Medical School in London, Ontario. During the summer months, Dr. Peco worked in an iron foundry to earn money for his university education. He graduated in May of 1930. Dr. Peco interned at Brantford General Hospital from June of 1930 to June of 1931.
Dr. Peco first practiced medicine in Scotland, Ontario from July of 1931 to December of 1932. Following this he returned to London and took a 3 month internship at Victoria Hospital. In May of 1933 Dr. Peco became the civilian medical officer for the Department of National Defense. He worked in relief camps at Longbranch, Ontario and Lac Suel Project at Hudson, Ontario from May of 1933 to May of 1935. Dr. Peco moved to Wallaceburg and worked in family medicine from May of 1935 until December of 1940. His office was located at 156 Duncan Street.
Dr. Peco married Evelyn Carolyne Cogliati on the 26th of June 1939 in Windsor. Mrs. Peco was born in Windsor on the 22nd of September 1916. She was the 2nd of 4 children born John Cogliati and the former Frances Nosotti. Her father was a labourer and her siblings were; Louis A. Cogliati, Genevieve Frances Cogliati and Albert Cogliati. Mrs. Peco was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Windsor.
Dr. and Mrs. Peco had 4 children; Barbara, Mary Francis, Roseann and Paul.
Dr. Peco joined the R.C.A.M.C. during World War II. He was stationed in Halifax and Mulgrave, Nova Scotia. He was deployed in September of 1942 and he served in England, the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe until the end of the war. Dr. Peco returned to Canada in the summer of 1945.
After his discharge, Dr. Peco worked with Dr. James Rodwell Marshall Martin in Chatham. He took post-graduate courses in anesthesia for two years at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario. Upon his return to Chatham in June of 1949 he established an office at 148 Llydican Ave. Ext.
Dr. Peco had practicing privileges at the Public General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham and Sydenham District Hospital in Wallaceburg.
Dr. Peco enjoyed reading and gardening.
Dr. Peco died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham on the 31st of August, 1970. Mrs. Peco died at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance on the 28th of March, 2016. Dr. and Mrs. Peco were buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. Peco is also featured on the ‘Gathering Our Heroes’ website.
**Dr. James Rodwell Marshall Martin is featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.