Peppermint Patty did not come into the strip with a full name (as Charlie Brown did), nor did she make it through her run without gaining a last name (as Franklin did), nor lacking a first name (as Schroeder did.) She was around for years before the name of Reichardt was placed on her.
Schulz often used the names of friends when naming his characters, and he did the same for Peppermint Patty. When young Randy Reichardt (well, then young; I presume he’s gotten somewhat older in the meantime) saw that name, he got excited and wrote Schulz a query, the response to which he has kindly just shared with me and allows me to share with you.
My secretary has always loved Peppermint Patty above all of the rest of the Peanuts characters. Also, she and Peppermint Patty have a lot in common. Therefore, when it came time to give Peppermint Patty a last, it just seemed natural to give her Sue’s last name. (My secretary’s name is Susan Reichardt.)
We both enjoyed hearing from you. I am pleased to know that you enjoyed having your name in the strip.
Charles M. Schulz
Schulz didn’t warn his secretary what he was up to; it came as a nice surprise when she saw the strip.
What a keen answer to have gotten. I’m so glad that Randy chose to share that.