Franklin George Peters (1941 - 2014)

Obituary
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  • "Franklin. You left us but you're alway going to be..."
    - Harold Borbridge
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    - Ernest & Lillian Hillman
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    - George Reifenstein
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    - Lori Dugdale Ellen George
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Franklin George Peters walked into the forest after losing his battle with cancer September 23 at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. He was 73.

He was born in Sitka on January 30, 1941, the 7th and youngest child of William and Ida Peters. This distinction earned him the nickname "The Baby" later in life. As an infant, he contracted and survived polio. He was named after two of his uncles, Franklin and George Dawson. As a child, his Tlingit name was Gunanaa. Later in life, he received the name Kishwoot which had been passed down from his great-uncle Jim Boss. He was of the Dakhlaweidee, the Inland Killer Whale.

In his youth he had two passions, fishing and baseball. When he was a child, he could always be found either fishing or playing baseball. As a teenager, he longlined for halibut out of a dory when he wasn't trolling or seining. After school in Sitka, he joined the Alaska National Guard and then the Colorado National Guard. He then joined the Regular Army and served as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, attaining the rank of Sergeant and making 67 jumps all over the world, including Alaska, the Lower 48, Korea, Japan, North Africa, Germany, India and England.

After the Army, he made his living as a commercial fisherman and a truck driver. He met and married his first wife, Lula and moved to Oklahoma with her. Their son David was born there in 1966. Franklin later returned to Sitka and worked as a commercial fisherman, truck driver and carpenter. He fished aboard the Pauline, the Atlas, the Icy Queen, the Pacific Pride, the Matie W and several other boats before moving to Anchorage and working as a cab driver.

He met and married Marjorie Gillian in Sitka in 1975. She preceded him in death in 2007. Afterward, he moved to Juneau where he was a fixture at bingo and at veteran's functions.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, fishing and gathering traditional Native foods as well as fishing. He also really enjoyed fishing. He never passed up an opportunity to go fishing and his famous catchphrase was always "One more cast."

He was known for giving away most of what he got. He was a fan of the Houston Astros for years. Later in life, he became a carver and made numerous masks, halibut hooks and other traditional items. He also held a 100 ton Master's License.

He is survived by his sister, Andrea Craig of Sitka, by his son and daughter in law, David and Pam Peters of Arkansas, by his son Jim Gillian and his family, by daughters Grace Brady, Debbie Gillian, Dolly Didrickson, Georgia Hopson, Marjorie Staub, Rose Tutiakoff, SueAnn Humble, and their children and grand-children. Also by his nephews, Darold Peters, William Peters and Leo W. Gernandt, Jr. of Sitka and his niece, Mary Christoffersen and her husband Charles and their children, Charles Michael, Conner, Lena and Anastasia of Nikiski. And by his numerous cousins and nephews and nieces in Whitehorse, Canada. He was the Beloved Uncle Frank or Grandpa Frank to his entire family.

He was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie, parents William and Ida Peters of Sitka, by his brothers, William III and Jacob Peters and by his sisters Pauline and Bertina.

According to his last wishes, his ashes will be scattered at sea near his favorite fishing spot in Sitka Sound and he will become part of the ocean he loved so much.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Oct. 1, 2014