In loving memory of


Born: September 16, 1979
Died: September 12, 2000


Written by Robert N. Floyd
“Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.”
-Victor Hugo
Peyton Elizabeth Floyd

Peyton brought meaning to perfection. We knew her as precious. Dancing with dolphins across the ceiling of the universe, smiling on her family, her friends, her favorite planet. She leaves us knowing our greatest loss. She gave the greatest gift. The privilege of knowing her, the privilege of having been in her presence. Peyton Floyd is survived by her mother, Robbie Elizabeth Davis-Floyd, her father Robert Newton Floyd, her brother Jason Phillip Floyd, her grandmother Myneka Payne, her aunt Cindy Abernathy and her uncle, Jim Floyd. Her godmothers include Sharon Gill of San Antonio, Texas; Beverly Meyer of San Antonio, Texas; Ariana Windle of Standlake, England; Cecilia Margaona of Mexico City, Mexico, Terri Carrao of New York, New York, and Debbie Day of Austin. And by all her friends from Dancers Workshop in Austin, the Broadway Dance Center in New York, UC Santa Cruz in California, the Swedish Institute of Massage in New York, the Natural Gourmet Cookery School in New York, her friends at Sea Camp in Florida, the lifeguards of Barton Springs and by all creatures of the sea that knew Peyton as their ally.

And by the most dear Corrie MacLaggan, K.C. Leinen, Adam Lyons and Brian Hudson.

Services will be held at the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin, Texas on Saturday, September 16, her 21st birthday. Funeral services are under direction of Weed Corley Fish at 3125 North Lamar, Austin Texas, 512 452-8811. Tax deductible donations to ACAH (Austin Center for Attitudinal Healing), P.O.Box 5990, Austin, Texas 78763 for the Peyton Floyd memorial fund. The fund will be distributed to programs for young women in the pursuit of excellence. And as Peyton said, now so profound, “there is not enough time to accomplish all I wish.” Peyton excelled withholding nothing, giving everything and all with such beautiful expression. Now preparing meals for Saints, dancing with dolphins, singing with angels, the one and only Peyton Floyd.

The Broadway Dance Center in New York City is posting a special edition of Peyton at

Mother’s Recommendation Letter

Robbie E. Davis-Floyd, Ph.D.
Research Fellow, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Texas

March 13, 2000

To whom it may concern

I write to recommend my daughter, Peyton Elizabeth Floyd, for admission into your cooking school. As her mother, I admit to a high degree of bias; nevertheless I think Peyton’s qualifications for admission are so many and so obvious that anyone who knows her will agree with my assessment of her abilities.

Peyton has always been a high achiever. She has been an outstanding dancer since she began taking classes in the first grade, with starring roles in multiple recitals. Throughout middle school and high school, in spite of the fact that she took dance classes every night and often did not get home till 10 pm or later, her grades have always been very good; she excelled particularly in English, math, and biology. Once when she was a junior in high school, I went into her room and found her very depressed. I assumed she was stressed out from having so much on her plate-in addition to dancing every evening, she was taking honors courses in school-but when I asked her what was wrong, she replied in great frustration that there were so many more things she wanted to do, but there was just not enough time to do them all!

Peyton spent many summers at Sea Camp in her middle and high school years; she is a certified lifeguard and a NAUI-certified diver, and has often swum with wild dolphins off the Florida Keys. She joined the scuba club during her year at UC Santa Cruz, and did a number of dives off the California coast. Her evaluations from her UCSC professors were outstanding, and she thoroughly enjoyed her year of college. Throughout her senior year of high school, she debated whether or not to go straight to college or to take time off to dance professionally while she is young. She finally settled on the reasonable option of completing one year of college with her age cohort, to have that experience and to become part of the UC system, and then taking a leave of absence to dance in New York.

But her time in New York has evolved into much more than just dancing! Realizing that she would need to earn a living outside of dance, and knowing that one of her eventual life goals is to become a holistic healer, probably a naturopath or chiropractor, Peyton decided that massage therapy would be a way of making money that would also provide an excellent foundation for her future career. In preparation, the summer before she left for New York she enrolled in a massage school in Austin and completed the three month summer intensive course. She realized she’d have to gain many more hours of experience to get licensed in New York (Texas only requires 300 hours; New York requires 1000).

Arriving in New York, she explored the requirements for licensure and also investigated the curriculum of the Swedish Institute. She decided she’d be better off taking the Institute’s full 16-month program, even though she’d have to repeat most of what she had just studied in Austin, because she’d be learning multiple modalities in addition to massage with the advantage of outstanding instructors in one of the best programs in the country. During her time at the Institute, she has become fascinated with anatomy and physiology and with the multiple modalities taught there. When she came home for Christmas, she gave me the best massage I’ve ever had in my life, bar none, so I know from personal experience how much she is learning.

Peyton’s desire to become an expert in cooking healthy food stems from her lifelong interest in nutrition as the fundamental building block of health. I did my best to raise her to respect her body and to eat healthy foods and avoid junk food. By the time she was 12 I didn’t have to press the point any more-she was fixing salads and vegetables on her own. Throughout high school she watched critically as her friends consumed cokes and candy bars; she wasn’t obnoxious about it, but she could see the ill effects of junk food on their health and the beneficial effects of a healthy organic diet on her own. I’m not much of a cook, so I know I wasn’t her teacher, but somehow by the time she went off to college she had turned herself into a very good chef, preparing yummy and extremely healthy meals for herself and sometimes, on my lucky days, for me as well. So I understood immediately why she wanted to enroll in your school and that it was a terrific opportunity for her to refine her innate cooking skills and to expand her knowledge about nutrition.

I know you will find Peyton to be an intelligent, enthusiastic, and committed student who will eagerly absorb all you have to teach her and will give herself 100 percent to the learning experience. She takes her commitments seriously and has staying power-she finishes what she starts. I strongly recommend that you accept her into your program.


Robbie Davis-Floyd

A Biography written by Orien Star

A biography of Peyton

by Orien Star age 16

Peyton truly was a work of art. She touched the hearts of everyone she knew. She accomplished more in her 21 years of life than I have ever dreamed of accomplishing. She expressed herself in many ways. She had a profound love and desire to be in the ocean. She attended SeaCamp in Big Pine Key, Florida from the summers of 1993 to1997. She spent as much of her time as possible swimming with the dolphins off the shores of the Florida Keys. Peyton danced like a dolphin moves, loved like a dolphin loves, and smiled like a dolphin always smiles. I guess that would explain why she adored them so much, because they were so similar. In a personal statement written by Peyton she said, “I have known since I was 6 that I wanted to come to understand the ocean and its creatures.” So she did and the ocean and Peyton were a perfect match.

“Dance has been my outlet for personal expression and emotional release–it has become both an art and a language of movement for me,” said Peyton in a resume she wrote in 1998. She studied dance from when she was 6 until she was 21. She specialized in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, pas de deux, hip-hop, musical theater, and modern. Into all these forms of dance, she incorporated her knowledge of the ocean. She tried to mimic the movement of ocean species–their quickness, their dazzle, the odd angles, and she represented the movement of water through the fluidity of dance. She was amazing!

She completed a 300 hour course in massage therapy from A New Beginning School of Massage in Austin, and was encouraged to seek further information about the art of massage, which brought her to The Swedish Institute of Massage in New York. She was made to help and heal people. There was uniqueness about her that intrigued everyone. She used her experience of dance and her knowledge of the ocean to miraculously heal people through the work of massage as well as other things. She also went to cooking school at The Natural Gourmet cooking school in New York, which specializes in organic foods, because she believed in healing both from the outside in and from the inside out. She poured her love and passions into her enticing foods. She enjoyed cooking as a form of pleasing others as well as herself.

Peyton is the most wonderful human being I have ever met. There was a tremendous amount of perfection in her. If there is a perfect person it would be her. As Peyton’s dad said,” Peyton brought meaning to perfection” and she did! She was so strikingly beautiful and perfect in every way and in everything she did. She was so talented. She lived her life to its fullest potential. She always had a million things going on and was able to fit them all into her busy schedule. She was organized and she knew what she wanted and how she wanted something done. Peyton is the most precious person and she truly is my hero. I admire everything she did in her life. Her life may have been short but she did live life like there was no tomorrow. I think that the reason why God let her go is because she only had a few more things to accomplish. So now she is and angel in heaven and is bringing her glory to a new level. But she will always remain somewhere special in my heart and of course will always be my HERO!

With the Dolphins

Peyton Elizabeth Floyd

“My dream is that, like dolphins we can intelligently join together and work together to save our planet and ourselves. You are like dolpins – playful, curious, intelligent, and with dreams of your own. I hope your dreams will all be as beautiful as mine and will all come true.”
Jacques-Yves Cousteau

“Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity” – Keats (44-45)

To describe this moment seems impossible. I can create the setting with all the sounds, sights, tastes, smells etc. but unless you have been in contact with a dolphin, the rest can only be imagined.

Sunshine and clear skies meet the greenish blue waters of the Atlantic. Off the coast of Key West they dolphins approach us. Warm water wraps me in swells of ocean and I dive down. Nothing to see, I close my eyes, and open my ears. Only the crackling of sea critters and shifting sand echo in my mind. I surface, breathe, float, breathe, and dive again. Hovering above the ocean floor, I feel them first. The vibrations tickle my neck, closer now I feel them probing my entire body. What do they see, how much do they know about me now? Today the pod has grown to around 30 dolphins.

One of them changed me forever. The dolphin on my urn is probably dead now. She was 50 yrs. old when I met her (this is the maximum of their life span) but she will always live with my spirit. She taught me the meaning of peace without words or sounds. She showed me how to create peace and how to carry it inside to share with others.

I’m gliding beside her, this huge creature, eye to eye, no more than a foot away. I could reach out and touch her, slide my fingers across her smooth rubbery side, but I don’t. Her space is sacred. I am not thinking, there are no thoughts flowing, no neurons racing to connect, just stillness. My lungs don’t concern me, only the eye. So round and black, beautiful and comforting. Is she staring into my being? A wise female with many stories to tell. I see them on her skin, the scars, marks, and the adored subtle grin. We surface together, blow out, breathe in, and dive down again.

In times of stress, exhaustion, frustration or restlessness I revisit this moment. I float within the ocean, beneath the surface where life awaits. I lose myself in her eye and listen only to the beating of my heart, until I’m ready to come back up and breathe.

With Family and Friends

Robbie and Peyton

Peyton and her brother Jason Phillip Floyd

Peyton Brother Kids

Peyton and Adam Lyons, Angel’s Landing, Mt. Zion, Utah

Peyton and Corrie McaClaggan

Peyton Collage

In 1980

Peyton Elizabeth Floyd

Born: September 16, 1979

Died: September 12, 2000