Jeffrey Leigh Peters
1939 - 2020
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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.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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19 entries
November 14, 2020
I so enjoyed reading about the life of Jeff Peters, his many pursuits, passions and accomplishments. I worked with Jeff at the VA hospital while we were both training, and then re-connected at St Marks Hospital when he joined the staff as an anesthesiologist. Jeff was always" top-drawer" with his work, never content with static knowledge, always striving to increase knowledge and performance. Jeff was a loyal friend and inspiration to many because he would not settle for less than the best effort possible. Many lives have been blessed by Jeff's energy, passion, and persistence with photography and his Ghana project. Jeff's life will be remembered by many. Condolences to the extended Peters family, may we together remember his example of goodness, passion, and excellence.
Hugh D. Voorhees
Coworker
November 4, 2020
1982 - My little 2 year old son had cut off part of his ring finger and was about to go in for a surgery attempting to reconnect it. Dr. Peters made a point of talking to me to ask if my son had a favorite flavor (for the anesthesia) and to let me know he was a father and would watch over my little guy as though he was his own. That short conversation with him got me through that night, knowing that Dr. Peters was taking care of him. Fast forward 22 yrs later. My son as a part of his Medical School training at the U, had "opted in" to go to Ghana for several weeks to help with well baby checks and to check on the people of the small remote villages. Wouldn't you know Dr. Peters was a part of that program! Always happy, so smart, observant, compassionate and able to convey that compassion so people knew he really cared, what a great role model. This trip was a second blessing for my son. First, as part of the team that gave him back the use of his finger, and again as a role model and mentor of what the best doctors are like.
Thank you Peters family!! The time he was away helping with my son's surgery, was time you gave our family, and now all the families lives that our son, the doctor, passes on to his patients.
Barb Gibson Hansen
Acquaintance
November 3, 2020
A specia god father, a special friend with the kindness heart. He will always be missed. Rest in peace Mr. Jeffrey
Jude Sortortey
Friend
November 2, 2020
I was so sorry to read about Jeff's passing. He truly was a giant of a man, had a huge personality, was charismatic, and fun. I was a lowly medical student on Internal Medicine at the University of Utah and Jeff was the resident with whom we worked. He was incredibly smart but he made learning medicine fun. Our association continued through the years as he gave anesthesia to many of my surgery patients. I always felt such peace when he was doing the anesthesia. Jeff was kind, accepting, and everyone felt comfortable in his presence. Quite simply, he made the world a better place. A beautiful light just went out and he will be missed. Rest well "Painless Peters". You were one of a kind!
Merril Dayton
Coworker
November 2, 2020
May your smile resonate throughout the heavens Dr. Peters. I had the fortune to work with Dr. Peters for many years at Utah Biomedical Test Laboratory. Dr. Peters instilled hope, individual value and love to each person he met and worked with. His joy for life, his profound energy and his constant search for new knowledge remains instilled in my soul to this very day. Our family will have Crown Burgers tonight.
Michael R Braun
Coworker
November 2, 2020
I enjoyed every moment that I was privileged to be able to spend with Dr. Jeff. I will miss hearing him greet me with a "Big Tim!" despite the fact that I would have been the runt of the litter amongst the Peters clan. He suffered from a chronic case of smiling, and was always upbeat and optimistic. The fact that his children share those traits is a fine legacy for any man.
Tim Hickey
Family
November 2, 2020
Jeff was a wonderful guy. My wife and I always enjoyed seeing and talking with him. He always had a smile . Every time we walked away Claudia would say ,“ he’s such a nice guy . “
Kenneth Pollard
Friend
November 2, 2020
His caring nature, darling and a father to all. May the Almighty God accept his soul in his bosom.
Salomey Sortortey
Family
November 2, 2020
His caring nature, a daddy and a darling that will always be missed. May the Almighty God accept his soul in his bosom.
Salomey Sortortey
Family
November 2, 2020
He's caring, a daddy and a darling that will always be missed.
Salomey Sortortey
Family
November 1, 2020
Jeff was a truly un-selfish person and so much fun to be around. He made friends with everyone no matter where he travelled, and he always took care of the people around him. I am so glad I got to know him, travel with him, and be a student under him. So sad to hear of his passing. His bright light will be missed.
Dustin Coyle
Friend
November 1, 2020
Poppa JP was my first professional mentor and, I am proud to say, a dear friend. I will never forget the respect and encouragement he gave me as a resident and young faculty. He exemplified kindness and generosity and the belief that everyone matters. I am grateful for those long plane rides, crazy taxi rides, and late night planning sessions. The world is a little quieter and a lot less interesting.
Mark Harris
Student
October 31, 2020
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
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James Chellis
October 31, 2020
There were many applicants applying to UCLA for their Master’s Program. Jeff was chosen when he was asked by the Master’s Committee of Professional Scholars, “How did you get down here Jeff from San Jose for our interview?” Jeffrey answered, “I hitchhiked, and met some very interesting and kind hearted individuals.” Other applicants must have heard the joyful laughter while they waited nervously to be interviewed. Jeff, the “hitchhiker” with his winning smile, and twinkle in his eye was accepted into the Master’s Program at UCLA. Our Papa Ray Peters shared with me the delightful stories of his first born son. We would sit after dinner over a pot of hot tea and giggle until our ribs hurt.
joanie
Sister
October 30, 2020
Prof Jeff no doubt had a lion heart, a heart full of gold. I still remember how he made his anesthesia class lovely in medical school and will talk to us about life in general. His smile was unique.Excellent teacher.
Student
October 30, 2020
He maintained his Medical License in California. He assisted @ Stanford Univ. Hospital with Dad's procedure before heart surgery.
October 30, 2020
Being his lil sister, was my greatest accomplishment. I learned 'kindness' as Jeff never stopped being my example.♡
Joan Strayer
Sister
October 30, 2020
I have not met Jeffrey. I got to know him through his son Jared, my wonderful neighbor. I got to say hello to him when he was talking to Jared on the phone. He was so jovial and full of energy. A giant with a lion’s heart and a model for all of us to follow. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Steven Ng
Friend
October 29, 2020
Best grandfather to his grandchildren ( my kids), and the greatest Father-In-Law I could ever have hoped for. His love of learning and family and friends is evident in his children. Thank you, and blessed journey to you, Dr. Jeff Peters!
Gabriel Martinez
Family
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