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Palo Alto Weekly

Community Pulse - November 22, 2013


Robert E. (Bob) Peters

Robert E. (Bob) Peters died on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto, surrounded by his family, two days before his 92nd birthday.

He was born on Nov. 10, 1921, in Champaign, Ill., the eldest child of Rev. Earnest J. and Frances (Kristufek) Peters. The son of a Methodist minister and nurse who had met while serving during World War I, he grew up in several towns in Indiana. A highlight following his high school graduation in 1940 was playing the trombone with Woody Herman's band in the Midwest.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and served from 1942-1945, primarily as a crew chief for B-24 Liberator airplane mechanics on duty in North Africa. He took particular pride in devising a technique for engine repair that helped to quickly get aircraft back into action.

He went on to study mechanical engineering at Purdue University and earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from Indiana University in 1952. Soon thereafter, he established a solo law practice in Lafayette, Ind.

He married Mary Margaret (Peggy) Garigan in 1950. They settled in West Lafayette, Ind., where they raised five children. Peggy died in 1971.

He moved to California in 1977, where his favorite activities included leading tours of the exhibits at the NASA Ames Research & Visitor Center and working on job placement for seniors through the National Council on Aging. He thoroughly enjoyed living at Stevenson House in Palo Alto, where he resided since July 2002 and worked at the front desk from September 2004 to January 2008.

He is survived by his brother, Glenn (Elizabeth) Peters, and by his five children: Katherine (James) Eckstein, Thomas (Dianne) Peters, Elizabeth (Claude) Dumpson, Margaret (Robin) Malloy, and Barbara (Dale) Pollek. He is also survived by Nora Weissman, his close friend of many years, and by his eleven grandchildren: Ahmed and Aja Cooper and Claudia Dumpson; Jeff (Kerry) and Meghan Peters; Laura and Brian Eckstein; Gina (Andrew) Claxton and Giovanni Malloy; and Wesley and Hannah Pollek.

A celebration of his life will be held at Stevenson House on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 2-4 p.m.

The family suggests that gifts in his memory could be given to Stevenson House, 455 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306. (