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WILLIAM "BILL" ANDREW PETERS - FERRISBURGH - William "Bill" Andrew Peters, 98, passed away suddenly Oct. 9, 2012, in Fletcher Allen Health Care after a massive stroke. He was born on the family farm in Bradford on Sept. 30, 1914. During his childhood, his grandfather, Andrew W. Peters, and his father, J. Edward Peters, raised the Peters' line of Morgan horses, direct descendants of the original Justin Morgan horse. Bill's memories of farm life included traveling by cart behind one of the tireless Morgans up to the Northeast Kingdom for trout fishing and driving the cows to summer pasture many miles from the farmhouse. After graduating from Bradford Academy in 1930, he earned a degree in agricultural sciences from UVM and headed to a teaching position at Vergennes High School in 1934. While at UVM, he met his future wife, Pauline "Polly" Hunt Peters, who passed away in May 2011. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on April 5, 2011. Bill spent six years in Vergennes, where Polly also taught. In 1941, after their marriage, he and Polly moved to his beloved Upper Valley and teaching posts at Thetford Academy. Beyond his skills in agriculture, Bill ran the shop and coached the baseball and basketball teams for almost three decades, until his retirement in 1967. The athletic field there is named after him. All his life Bill loved the outdoors. Fishing and gardening were particular passions. After his retirement, he and Polly spent winters in Florida, first Venice, then Zellwood Station, and summers in Vergennes and at their cottage on Lake Champlain. Wherever he lived, fresh vegetables and flowers flourished. He was also an expert pruner. For several years in his 70s, he shaped the shrubs at Basin Harbor Club. Like his wife, Polly, he was a devotee of bridge, and played his last hands a day before he died. In Vergennes he was a Rotarian for many years. His wry Vermont sense of humor and gentle heart will be profoundly missed by his family: son, Ted Peters and wife, Judy, of Thetford; daughter, Jeanne, of Ferrisburgh, where he lived since 2006, keeping watch over life at the lake; grandchildren, Cheryl Lynne Peters of Randolph, Penny and husband, Russ Aceto, of Fairfax, Mary Lou and husband, Scott Jones, of Westbrook, Conn., and Charles Peters and wife, Denise, of Thetford; and great-grandchildren, Trevor and Connor Jones, and Kayleigh Aceto. The family would like to acknowledge the caring and concern of the staff at Project Independence, where Bill enjoyed pool and Bingo on Monday and Thursday afternoons. Special thanks go to caregivers, Patti Fitzsimmons and Ella Hoague, who helped keep Bill laughing, well fed (oh those mashed potatoes and blueberry pancakes!), and engrossed in jigsaw puzzles through the last year and a half of his life. A memorial service will be held at Vergennes Congregational Church, 30 South Water Street, on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, at 11 a.m., the Rev.Gary Lewis will preside, with music from Jeanne's fellow choir members and Julia Blocksma, organist. The service will be followed by a luncheon reception in the Church's Fellowship Hall, where Bill's life will be celebrated in photographs. Arrangements are under the direction of Sanderson Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Elderly Services, 112 Exchange St., Middlebury, VT 05753.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Oct. 13, 2012
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