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William J. Peters

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January 15, 1913 - March 8, 2014 Bill Peters, 81, passed away in Sierra Madre, CA on March 8, 2014. He was born on January 15, 1933 in Middletown, CT and moved with his family to Altadena, CA in 1941. Growing up, the Eaton Canyon nature preserve was his playground and he developed a lifelong passion for hiking the trails of the San Gabriel Mountains. Bill earned an AA degree from Pasadena City College and a BA degree in Sociology from Colorado College. He had a talent for the preforming arts and one of his fondest memories was the summer he spent on Catalina Island as the Boat Greeter, entertaining tourists with ukulele ballads and comedic skits. An accomplished businessman, Bill served as president and CEO of Trail Chemical Corporation in El Monte, which was founded by his father, William J. Peters, Sr. Bill was president of the El Monte Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Chemical Industry of California and was the sole representative for small businesses on the National Commission on Superfund. Bill enjoyed being involved in his community and served on the boards of the Los Angeles County Arboretum Foundation, the Pasadena Arts Council and the Pasadena Symphony Association. He received numerous awards for his community service including the Rose of Honor Award from the city of El Monte. The El Monte Chamber of Commerce named him the Joseph Schenbaum Man of the Year. After retirement, Bill began a second career as a music journalist. He used his extensive knowledge of classical music to write reviews of local performances for regional newspapers. His well-respected website, petersmusicnews.com was sponsored by Beacon Media News. Bill will be most remembered for his quick wit and musical talent. He played stride piano and had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Great American Songbook. He was generous with his gift and always happiy to entertain friends and family with impromptu sing-a-long's around the piano. Bill is survived by Janet Paine Peters, his wife of 56 years; Judy Avila, his daughter; Tom Peters, his son and wife Linda; Lisa Harrington, his niece; and grandchildren Kenneth Avila, Kristine Avila and Noah Pflueger-Peters. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 22 at 11:00 AM at Sierra Madre Methodist Church, 695 W Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates, 1750 N. Altadena Dr., Pasadena, CA 91107.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 13, 2014
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