Gary and Sherry Peaden

Josephine residents since 2007!

 As 11th grade classmates at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida, Gary Peaden asked Sherry Tunney out on their first date and married the next year in August, 1975.   And the adventures they have enjoyed continued on the pathway to Stone Quarry in Josephine, Alabama, where they moved into a “Gary Built” house on the marina harbor in November, 2007.  His first construction project was their home in Gulf Breeze, and his interest in residential construction continued to grow with each move they made.

Gary and Sherry both attended Pensacola Junior College, but a career opportunity steered Gary away from the campus, to become a Florida Highway Patrolman at the age of 20. His first duty assignment following extensive training at the FHP Academy in Tallahassee was to Gainesville, FL.  Gary grew up in a law enforcement family, and his dedication and commitment to serve and protect was rewarded with a promotion to the technical analyst position for breath alcohol testing.  He served in this role until 1989, when he was recruited by Escambia County Sheriff Charlie Johnson, where he soon became the expert in alcohol breath testing, and was often called to testify at DUI trials, both for the prosecution and defense counsel.

 As Gary’s career blossomed, so did the family.  Matt was born in 1978, Chris in 1982, Laura in 1985, Robert in1986, Sarah in 1991, and Anna Claire in 1994. And, as the family grew, the need for more living space prompted the need for Gary to acquire his Construction Certification license.  Gary and a business partner started building houses in Pensacola, and built another successful career move.  Gary retired from the Sheriff’s Dept. in 2004, during which time the family had moved to Elberta, and established another business, Southern Petals Cut Flower Farm, growing and selling flowers, first from a small retail shop on the right of way on U.S. 98, between County Road 95 and Elberta.  Sherry chose to sell to the public on an “Honor” system, which worked extremely well, to the point that Southern Living magazine featured an article about the business.  The 3 acre flower field produced such an abundance of petals, the Peaden’s sold the excess crop to several wholesale florists in Pensacola and Mobile.  Ivan destroyed the retail shop, which was rebuilt and restocked.

 Gary’s next career opportunity came from the City of Elberta, when he was offered the position of Chief of Police in September 2004.  Now, that was a short drive to work!

Gary enjoyed the autonomy that was promised, and his 7 Officer staff did an excellent job for the citizens of Elberta.  His knowledge and skills earned through a stellar career in law enforcement brought his current career opportunity when Gary accepted a position in the Federal Courthouse in Pensacola as U.S Special Deputy Marshall, assigned to Court Security.  That part time job led to another career opportunity, and his new business, Peaden Marine Canvas & Upholstery.  Gary and Sherry work together to design, manufacture and install dodgers, biminis, cushions and enclosures on all types of water craft.  Business has been “outstanding” according to Gary.  He can be contacted at, or 251-979-4154.

 The Peaden’s enjoy sailing their Catalina 34’, Bella Vita, and Gary serves on the Board of Governors for the Point Yacht.  All of the Peaden offspring, with the exception of Matt, a USA grad,  attend or have graduated from Auburn University, and Anna Claire will enroll at Auburn next year.  The Peaden’s attend Redeemer Lutheran Church in Pensacola.  We’re happy that they chose Stone Quarry for their current residence, “Gary Built.”  No surprise! 


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