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UST Celebrates the Life of Odis Peavy

Odis Peavy sharing lunch with nursing students on campusUniversity of St. Thomas celebrates the life of businessman and philanthropist Odis Lee Peavy, 91, who passed away on Dec. 29, 2020.

"Mr. Peavy was an exceptional friend of the University of St. Thomas," University President Richard Ludwick said. "More than that, he was the best kind of bold. Odis showed the kind of grit, practical sense, and deep commitments that we all admire. His life and legacy reflect his values of faith, family and friendship for all humanity. We will miss him, but take solace in our belief that Odis and Carol are together again in the warm embrace of our loving God."

Odis Moves to Houston, Marries Carol

Odis, who hails from Nacogdoches, moved to Houston after serving in the Navy and met Estelle Carol Moreau. They were married in 1956 and had three children: Kathleen, Elizabeth and David. Kathleen "Kathy" Peavy Van Deventer earned a Master of Business Administration degree from UST in 1979, and the late Dr. Elizabeth Ann Peavy graduated from UST in 1980. She practiced dentistry for 10 years before her death in 1994.

Odis Establishes Peavy Rentals

Odis established a Houston-based car and truck rental service in 1983 called PV Rentals. Odis and Carol, worked side-by-side since it opened its doors. Their daughter Kathy continued to run the business.

Carol, a Former Nursing Faculty Member, Vows to Re-establish UST’s School of Nursing

Odis and Carol PeavyCarol, received a nursing degree from Sacred Heart Dominican College in the 1950s. That nursing program later became part of the University of St. Thomas. She served on the UST School of Nursing faculty from 1980 to 1982. When the nursing school closed in an economic downturn in 1986, Carol vowed to re-establish it.

Peavys Provide Support for School of Nursing

In 2008, the timing was right and Odis and Carol made significant contributions to the University to assist in re-establishing its nursing school in 2012. In 2014, the Peavys made the largest gift in UST history in support of the Center for Science and Health Professions, the permanent home for the School of Nursing. Subsequently, the University recognized Odis and Carol’s generosity

“The University of St. Thomas would not have a School of Nursing today without the vision, commitment and financial support of Carol and Odis Peavy,” Dr. Poldi Tschirch, dean of the Nursing School, said. “The Peavy School of Nursing is their gift to the future and the good they have done will live on through its graduates.”

Peavys Served as Mardi Gras Chairs

The Peavy’s steadfast commitment to the University and their philanthropic legacy were honored at the 2009 Mardi Gras Scholarship Gala held on campus under “The Big Top.” The event broke the record and reached an unprecedented level of success when they chaired the Gala raising more than $1 million for student scholarships. They are also credited with reviving the tradition of a student Mardi Gras King and Queen.


The University celebrates the life of Odis Peavy, who, along with his late wife Carol, was an advocate for Catholic education and instruments of change for many students.