Give Me Jesus

Give Me Jesus

Give Me Jesus

For Mom, who loved big with the love of Christ, and for my students, who have come alongside me in a special way since she went to be with Jesus.

Give Me Jesus, arr. Mark Hayes
Piano: Duane Ream
In concert with Tamra Grace Jones and Todd Jones
January 21, 2023
West Oak Baptist Church, Greenville, SC

Mom’s obituary, originally published at

Peggy Arlene Chandler Stapleton of Livingston, Texas passed on to be with her Savior on August 16, 2022.

Her visitation and funeral service will be held on Friday (May 19), at First Baptist Church of Livingston (106 Colt Road). The visitation will be held from 9:00 to 11:00 AM, and the service will begin at 11:00 AM. Following the service, family members will accompany her earthly body to Lufkin, where she will be laid to rest at Garden of Memories Cemetery. Her soul has received new life in the presence of Jesus.

Peggy was born in Diboll, Texas on November 5, 1961, to Jerry Wayne Chandler and Earlene Smith Chandler. She was the firstborn of four children, and in her role as oldest sibling she first began to develop and shape a trait that would come to define her legacy: nurturing and serving others fully, with unwavering strength and joy.

Peggy graduated from Diboll High School and then attended Angelina College, where she met Keith, the love of her life. Keith and Peggy joined their hands in marriage on January 7, 1984, and made a home together in Livingston. They reaped the continual blessings of a sweet and beautiful marriage for thirty-eight years, until Peggy's passing. Their love was a rare treasuring of each other, a love full of laughter and youthful joy, and also a love full of unified grit and perseverance through the toughest times. Peggy poured her hard-working strength and nurturing nature into Keith, and Keith poured his own hard-working strength and loving protection into her. In this marriage of devoted and selfless service to one another, their gifts multiplied and spilled over abundantly into the lives of their children, grandchildren, friends, and community.

In 1992, Peggy, who had a gift for beautifying everything she touched, drew up a house plan for her family's forever home. Once the house was built, she also designed and decorated the inside, refreshing the interior with new delights for the eye throughout the seasons and years. Every inch of the Stapleton home is stamped with her beauty and love.

She earned a B.A.A.S. in 2002 from Sam Houston State University. Her professional career included drafting, surveying, project management, hospital administration, and teaching.

Yet as fruitful as she made her professional work, her greatest fruit was born through joyful acts of service to her family, friends, and church. Demonstrating Christ's hands and feet, Peggy served in hospitality, children's, and music ministries. She offered her strength and love through so many unseen acts of service, such as preparing meals for and cleaning the homes of family and friends who have young children and no time to sleep, or who are ill and elderly. She was a skilled and empathetic caretaker, always figuring out what needs to be done, always going many extra miles for the comfort and health of her loved ones, and always offering every ounce of herself for their well-being. Even while she battled cancer, she continued to joyfully serve others as much as possible, staying silent about her own illness. She loved to show her love through acts of service.

Through her daily way of life she taught her children to be kind to everyone, putting others before herself. And she demonstrated to her children the value of cultivating and stewarding one's gifts toward excellence for Christ's glory. It was in listening to Peggy's beautiful voice resound each Sunday that her daughter Megan developed a musical ear and a love of singing for the Lord. And it was through her example of serving others in ways unseen, that her son Justin developed the same spiritual gift for quiet acts of service toward others.

Peggy had so many gifts and talents, including a gift for music. She used her gift to sing for the Lord and to bring joy into her home. At church, she sang in the choir, offered specials in song, and led the children's choir for Christmas programs and VBS. At home, she sang around the house every day, even making up personalized silly songs for all her kids and grandkids. Her grandsons delighted in hearing their Gigi spell out their names in song. Her three boys were her heart's greatest joys, and they knew she loved them more than anything. "Gigi" was one of their favorite words to say; it sounded like a song of joy each time they spoke her name. They loved her dearly and uniquely.

Peggy is survived by her husband, Keith, of Livingston, her son, Justin, his wife, Amanda, and their sons, Wyatt, Hollis, and Silas, of Huntsville, and her daughter Megan, of Greenville, South Carolina. She is also survived by her parents, Jerry and Earlene Chandler, of Diboll, brother Eric Chandler and his wife Lacey, of Diboll, sister Trudy Chandler Wright and her husband Randy, of Huntsville, sister in law Lisa Abbott Chandler, of Huntington, brother in law Greg Stapleton and his wife Mary, of Silsbee, sister in law Sarai Stapleton, of Austin, and brother in law Daniel Stapleton and his wife Melissa, of Tamarac, Florida, in addition to many beloved nieces and nephews, as well as wonderful friends and neighbors. She loved her family fiercely.

Peggy is preceded in death by her brother, Kim Patrick Chandler.

Her favorite verse was Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

- written by her beloved and blessed daughter, Megan

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