Peyton Winfree Baber died peacefully at Westminster Canterbury on Sunday December 31, 2023, at age 85. She had a multifaceted personality with a quick wit and dry sense of humor. She was an accomplished artist, craftsperson, mathematician, and duplicate bridge player, who enjoyed surprising friends with blunt, humorous statements. She was also an avid University of Virginia basketball fan and was convinced her support was the real reason the team played well or not. Often unpredictable in her words and actions, she will be fondly remembered by her friends and family.
Peyton was born in Lynchburg on October 4, 1938, to Captain Myron Argyle Baber, U.S.N.R., and Louise Winfree Baber. Because of the health of her mother and her father's absence for WWII military commitments, Peyton was raised through childhood by her grandmother, Mrs. Peyton Brown Winfree of Tenth and Wise Streets.
Peyton graduated from Stuart Hall, Staunton, Virginia, and from Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, Georgia. She had a successful forty-year career in Lynchburg as an interior designer, having graduated from the New York School of Interior Design, where she lived in the Barbizon Hotel and walked to classes daily with the many other working girls. In her early professional years, she was associated with Constance Davies, and later had her own private practice supporting numerous faithful clients. Many young people just starting out in their new homes were helped by Peyton's ability to make “something out of nothing” when funds were limited. But at the same time, she could recommend to her more established clients the finest traditional décor without regard for cost.
Peyton was a self-taught artist and for many years was a dedicated member of the Lynchburg Art Club. She was twice selected to have her art displayed on the prestigious Judges Fence at the annual Art Festival, sponsored by the Lynchburg Art Club. She and a friend established a successful gift shop at the Art Club where she enjoyed selling her handmade Christmas crafts as well as the Art Club's famous Brunswick Stew. She also illustrated a book, Forgotten Faces, by Peter Houck, MD. In her later years as her energies declined, she was pleased to be named an honorary member of the Lynchburg Art Club.
Peyton was an avid duplicate bridge player with the Duplicate Bridge Club and appreciated her faithful friends Gloria Flicker, Karen Derrick, and David Wingfield would regularly transport her to games, always bringing along her favorite comfortable chair which did not hurt her back. She received many notable awards for duplicate bridge accomplishments: the McKenney Trophy champion in 1984, 1986, 1989, and 1990, and earning 2500 master points She was named the 1984 ACBL Player of the Year
Peyton is survived by many Baber and Winfree cousins in Virginia and around the country; including Jane Baber White of Lynchburg, Edgar Miller Baber of Roanoke, Mary Raine Winfree Paxton of Lexington and Penny Winfree Gooch of Roanoke. The family would like to thank Westminster at Home hospice services, and the staff of the sixth floor Westminster-Canterbury’s Hearthside Acute Rehab services, with additional tremendous thanks to Michael Dodgion and Sue Miller for their many acts of kindness during the years that Peyton was a resident of the Vista Avenue Apartments, and to Betty Martin and Hattie Chittum for their devotion to Peyton in her final days.
A memorial service will be held at St John's Episcopal Church at 12pm on January 31, 2024 with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, or the Lynchburg Humane Society.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit tharpfuneralhome.com.
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