Friday, January 28, 2011


Shirley Mae Peeples, member of the family who owns the popular Peeples Taco Restaurant in Austin, died January 21, a day after her 74th birthday.

Shirley Mae Peeples, lovingly known as Big Ma, member of the family owners of the popular Peeples Taco Restaurant at 5944 West Chicago Avenue in Austin, died in her sleep January 21, a day after her 74th birthday. She was born January 20, 1937, in Collins, Arkansas. Her mother died in childbirth, so Shirley was raised by her grandparents, Reverend J.T. and Ophelia McNealey. She earned her diploma from Drew County High School in Monticello, Arkansas, in 1955.
    After graduation, Shirley moved to Chicago, where she met and married Norman Peeples in 1959. They had four children: Latrice, Derrick, Clarence, and Jimmy. Shirley attended cosmetology school and was employed by Zenith until 1965, when she and Norman became entrepreneurs by launching the now well-known Peeples Tacos Restaurant.
    Big Ma was known for her hospitality, which always included her great cooking. Two of Big Ma’s favorite pastimes were all-day shopping trips and dining out with family and friends. She was also an active member of Greater Open Door Church.
    Shirley died in her sleep on January 21. She leaves her loving husband of 51 years, Norman; her daughter Latrice; sons Derrick (Nikki), Clarence (Barbara), and Jimmy. She is also survived by her uncle, Rufus McNealey of Milwaukee, 13 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, 5 brothers-in-law and 2 sisters-in-law; a God-daughter, Elaine Starks; a special friend, Ora Clay; and a host of family members and friends.
Services are at Greater Open Door Baptist Church, 1301 South Sawyer Avenue.


  1. Sounds like a great lady. Who knew black people would be good at tacos?

  2. Best shrimp cajun tacos i ever had were cooked by my friend, a black guy!!! no problem except he wouldnt share his spice recipe :(

  3. Who new americans could make cars.... asshat

  4. Who knew there would be so many racist douche-bags trolling this late on a Sunday!

  5. RIP Big Ma.
    You made many a person smile.
    We love you always.

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