What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
— Helen Keller
It hasn’t yet sunk in that Pepper is gone. Though I never met her in person, I considered her a friend. I knew her for four years and expected to know her much longer. Her encouragement helped me to believe in my writing, and whenever doubts creep in, remembering her words of support continues to bolster my confidence. It’s a small solace that the charming, heartfelt stories Pepper created remain with us to enjoy. I’m sure there were more stories in her head that will never be written. I wish I’d had a chance to tell her how special she was. She leaves a hole in our group that can never be filled.
– Susan R. Hughes
When Pepper joined the Authors of Main Street I knew her only as an author’s name on a book. I soon discovered a vibrant woman who was an excellent author, and much more. She blended into the group and helped to organize us. Soon she became our big sis. Her constant encouragement helped to keep our spirits high. Always keeping her eyes on numbers and ranking when we’d release a boxed set, she was our watchdog. No matter what it was, Pepper was right there for us.
She was always sharing with us. Photos of family, grandchildren, her yard, or whatever it was in her life, she’d send them to us. We often felt as though we were there with her in her kitchen with the noise of her big family or in her garden enjoying the serene sounds of nature. She didn’t just give us wonderful stories, she gave us a little piece of herself.
– E. Ayers
I knew Pepper long before Authors of Main Street. When I decided to become serious about my writing she was there to lend a helping hand. She was the Queen of Spreadsheets. Her organization skills are legendary in all she did. Everywhere I go on the Internet and on writer loops, she touched so many lives. A gracious lady (in every form of the word) will be missed.
– Jill James
I didn’t personally know Pepper, but nothing would have pleased me more. I’d love to sit in her kitchen, share a hot cup of tea or coffee with her and her sweet smile. To watch her bustle around the kitchen and prepare one of her delicious family meals.
Her family meant everything to her. She once wrote of the magical moment she met her Prince Charming. They married and it was for life.
Pepper was a passionate and devoted woman not only to her family, but to her friends as well. She always encouraged our group and made time to help out any way she could.
Pepper will be in my heart forever. I miss her.
Although I never met Pepper in person, I felt I knew her through our association with Authors of Main Street. Pepper married into a family from South Louisiana, not terribly far from where I lived as a child. I felt a kinship with her because of this and because we both placed such high priority on family, friends, and writing.
She is greatly missed by her family and also by her many friends and associates online.
I met Pepper ten years ago. She called me at home and said she was Donna Caubarreaux.
“Yes?” I have never heard her name and wondered why this person would call me.
“I have the pleasure to tell you that you won first place in the…contest.” I forgot the name of the contest, my first win, but I will never forget her laughing voice when I stuttered, “No way…Really…How…” She had fun reassuring me it was true.
I found Donna again under her pen name of Pepper Phillips, as a member of Main Street. A lovely lady full of energy. When she mentioned she was participating in the FRW cruise conference and flying to Fort Lauderdale, I went to the pre-cruise meeting the night before especially to meet her as I was not going on the cruise. We hugged and chatted like old friends. She was as fun in person as she was on our Main Street loop. I worked with Pepper on bundling our books into boxes. She was an expert in statistics and enjoyed reporting and plotting spreadsheets with our boxes sales. Considering her incredible poise and enthusiasm for life, I had trouble accepting her passing.
Pepper, thank you for being an inspiration to our group. I will never forget you. Rest in peace my friend and pray for us.
Pepper was our mother hen. No matter wonderfully or poorly our boxed sets were faring, Pepper let us know everyday. But she did more than track our sales stats–she was always at the ready with an encouraging word, a bit of advice, or a witty remark. Things fell silent on Main Street a few days before she passed. Finally, someone asked, “Where’s Peppper?” We found out from her family that she’d been hospitalized. I think I know exactly when she passed. While I was writing, sitting on the sofa in our bonus room, a feeling of loss swept over me. I emailed my husband, “Pepper’s gone.” Since we share an email account, he knew exactly what a large part Pepper and all my Main Street friends played in my life. Later, I found out that Pepper had passed, just as I had thought. Bonsoir, Pepper. We love you.
I was surprised five days ago when I read my email and it said Pepper, the lively spark plug of our group, was slipping away—fast. I thought, “No, that can’t be—she just got back from the hospital and was gong to be okay—wasn’t she?”
That’s what she wanted us to think. She didn’t say how serious it was. She took care of us until the very end. She had some AoMS business to take care of and she did it. She has a novella in the current Christmas on Main Street boxed set. She’d been sending emails and not complaining about being sick—only mentioning a temporary hospital visit in between talk of writing business.
At least that’s how it seemed to me. Maybe I was in denial. That could be. I’m notorious for putting the most positive possible spin on whatever bad thing is going on.
And now, without a chance to say goodbye, Pepper is gone.
The problem is that she didn’t seem anywhere near ready to go. She was too vital, too active, in the thick of things and making plans to do more.
She was our spark plug.
She was energetic and proud and never complained. (Now I wish she had—just a little—but that’s selfish of me.) To say that I will miss her and that I’m profoundly saddened by her passing seems too small to cover how I feel.
We all feel that way, all of us on Main Street, her many friends, and most especially her huge and beloved family. My heart goes out to all of us. A light has gone out here on Main Street, but I know Pepper will glow on in our hearts and memories.
Thank you for being you, Pepper.