Jeffrey Leigh Peters
November 23, 1939 ~ September 29, 2020
Jeffrey Leigh "Painless" Peters, 80, of Salt Lake City, Utah, passed away on September 29, 2020 at his home in Emigration Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jeff was born in San Francisco on November 23, 1939, to his father, Raymond Francis Peters and mother, Shirley Llewelyn Peters.
He grew up in Menlo Park, California and attended Bellarmine College Preparatory High School in San Jose. A lifelong student, he attended Santa Clara University and completed a Bachelor's Degree at San Jose State University. He received a Masters Degree in Anatomy from UCLA, and then a Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering, and a PhD in Physiology, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He moved to Salt Lake City in 1970 to join the Division of Artificial Organs at the University of Utah, where he obtained his MD and completed a residency in Anesthesiology.
Jeff married Pamela Wells of Pacific Palisades, California, on December 28, 1963, and together they had Megan, Jared, Kendra, Garrick and Micah. Megan was born in Los Angeles. Jared, Kendra and Garrick were born in Houston, and Micah was born in Salt Lake City.
Jeff and Pam were active in the Civil Rights movement, notably working with VISTA, in the disadvantaged community of Blossom Heights, Houston, where they lived. There, they helped create a parent cooperative preschool.
Jeff married Linda Brimhall January 27, 1978 and added Linda's son Troy to his family.
His passion for community service continued when he went to Ghana in 2000. For two decades, Jeff traveled to Ghana to teach and work, training future doctors and helping in an annual, critical, outreach program to small villages.
Jeff spent four decades teaching and practicing at The University of Utah, St. Mark's Hospital and the Salt Lake VA hospital. His official final day was on First Call at the age of 74. He constantly enjoyed working and continuing his education, learning echo cardiology technology late in his career. He was proud of his early research with the inventor of the artificial heart, Dr. Cliff Kwan-Gett.
Jeff loved music, sports, basketball (playing until he was 76)! He also played tennis. He enjoyed following his kids' and grandchildren's sports, whether it was basketball, track, field hockey, volleyball or soccer. And boy did he love following the Jazz, 49ers and Giants, as well as professional tennis.
Jeff was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by the mothers of his children, his brother Joel (Audrey); his sister Joanie; his cousin Jerry; his children Megan, Jared, Kendra, Garrick, Micah Peters, and Troy Brimhall; his children through marriage, Susan Marie, Gabriel, Susan Elizabeth, Rebecca and Carolyn; his grandchildren, Zak (Adrienne), Asha, Cameron, Dominic, Stella, Sierra, Katelyn, Elijah, Maximilian, Rafael and Alexandra; his niece Ginger and his nephew Joshua.
While working the past two decades in Ghana, Africa, Jeff adopted a Ghanaian family whom he met at the University where he taught. Salomey, Isaac, Roland and Raymond will miss him greatly.
Jeff Peters was a beautiful human being. His departure leaves us with a distinctive and profound legacy of kindness. Jeff believed all individuals contain immense value. Whether you worked as a nurse, a janitor, or in the hospital cafeteria, Jeff knew your name, and wanted to know what was happening in your life. At the core, his guiding principles were equality, selflessness, enthusiasm and service. Simply put, the man was a giant, a lion and a legend.
He loved pistachio ice cream and Jim Croce. He loved his children. He loved his grandchildren. He loved his extended family, his friends, his students, his neighbors and his patients. He will be remembered all over the world and missed by so many.
In lieu of flowers or other usual services, Jeff's family believes his wish would be that everyone get out to exercise their civic duties and VOTE!
His children will have a memorial celebration when the current public health crisis allows for a large gathering.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, 2020.