Lele Peel Splane
This is a short note about Louise (LeLe) Peel Splane, the remarkable mom of three and grandmother of three. She is 88 years young and a native Tucsonan. She has had many friends over the years and has been a wonderful friend herself. She has friends left from her childhood here and they meet each week for lunch at Leo's Mexican Restaurant. Often, their children show up, or children of friends who are no longer "with us." We love these women and have known them all of our lives.
Lele was born in Tucson in 1917 and lived here until after WW II when our father, Jack, graduated from the University of Arizona in mining engineering. He took his wife and two daughters, both under the age of five, to live in a small graphite mining town in Sonora, Mexico. They were the only English-speaking family there. Lele perfected her high school Spanish and coped with graphite-dusted children and house. A son was born in the six years that we lived there. A second move took the family to Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico, where we lived for one year. That was a year of parties and fun, as it was an English-speaking community. Jack decided to open a consulting business and move us back to Tucson, for which we were all grateful!
Our mother is a wonderful woman, not unlike many of her generation. She let us be children, didn't schedule us for tons of activities and was always there for us -- she still is. She has survived personal losses and lived in places where she made the best of everything -- always with a good outlook on life. She has been a widow for twenty years, kept up a large house (which is almost 50 years old), enjoyed working in her yards and traveled wherever her daughters and son wanted to take her. She is always home for Christmas and most of us are there with her, grown grandchildren and their spouses included. We have been so lucky and we know it! We thought our mom should be in the Women's Plaza of Honor for she is a true Tucson woman who grew up just down the street from the Plaza and watched her town as it grew. We were raised on her stories of the houses she lived in within a one-mile radius of here and the friends that she grew up with-- we hope to keep those stories going.
Her children: Suzie Hawkins, Sally DeYoung, John Splane
Her grandchildren: Justin Hawkins, Michael DeYoung, Lindsay DeYoung Batema