Cover photo for Jack Peters's Obituary
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Jack Peters

September 8, 1937 — December 28, 2022

Narragansett

Jack Peters

85, of Narragansett, RI and Fort Myers Beach, FL passed away on December 28, 2022 surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of Mary Ellen (Rowley) Peters for fifty-two years.

Born in 1937 in Boston, MA, he was a son of the late Philip E. and Elizabeth (Muldoon) Peters. Jack was raised in a single family house on Stockton Street in Dorchester with seven brothers and sisters. He was known to be mischievous as a child and to have a big sweet tooth. His mother had to lock up dessert in a cabinet so that he couldn’t steal it before dinner. His neighborhood bustled with children and Jack remained lifelong friends with many of his childhood pals. As a young child, Jack demonstrated a strong streak of curiosity and initiative and was hired by local businesses for odd jobs. After the corner newsstand owner noticed him sneaking in to read comic books he couldn’t afford, he gave him a job stocking the newspapers.

Jack was a proud graduate of Boston College High School and Stonehill College; and served in the US Army. His antics with Private O’Reilly from his boot camp class were legendary in his family and all agreed that it was probably for the best that their unit was never sent to battle. He worked as an editor for Allyn & Bacon Publishing Company for 32 years before retiring in 1997. He formed many close friendships at work over lunchtime games of cards and chess and was proud of the educational textbooks they brought to print. Jack’s sense of humor was universally loved and he greatly enjoyed sharing comical situations he had found himself in - even if the joke was on him. He once recounted a story of meeting a nice person named John on Beacon street in the Back Bay and talking with him about his dog Charlie. Mary Ellen later told him that he had been speaking with John Travolta to which Jack replied “Who’s John Travolta?” - he had never heard of him but thought he was a friendly fellow. He appreciated the humor of George and Kramer from Seinfeld as well as Inspector Clouseau from The Pink Panther as they reminded him of some of the characters he encountered over the years.

Besides his wife he leaves two sons, Philip J. Peters and his wife Jen Soong of Davis, CA and Mark E. Peters and his wife Erin of San Francisco, CA; a sister, Marilyn Peters of Braintree, MA; and three grandchildren, Owen, Zoe and Andrew Peters. Jack had a kind word for everyone and a joke ready for most situations. In the winter in Boston, he would walk his dog along Commonwealth Avenue and would offer warm gloves and a friendly greeting to any unhoused person he met. Even in his last days in the hospital, he thanked his wonderful doctors and nurses and asked his sons to make sure his year-end charitable donations were made. He always took great pride in his sons who learned the values of hard work, honesty and humor from him. He was also the ultimate college guidance counselor since he had visited so many universities while crisscrossing the country for his job. His grandchildren quickly discovered that Papa was the jokester of the family and loved sharing stories and reading with him.

Jack was an adventurous traveler with the family. As a newlywed in 1970, he wanted to take Mary Ellen on a trip to Alaska but thought the travel agency options were too limited and too expensive. Undeterred, he created his own travel agency - Jackson Travel - and directly booked their dream itinerary with ferry companies and lodges. On a trip to Yellowstone in 1985, he briefly adopted the role of “Ranger Jack.” Although his ranger credentials could not be independently verified, he was unafraid of advising fellow travelers on directions, shortcuts or recommendations drawing on his vast experience of 36 hours in the park. After retirement, he expanded his horizons with many international trips with Mary Ellen to Turkey, China, South Africa, France, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico and New Zealand.

He lived for 75 years in Boston and was always a proud Bostonian who grew up rooting for Ted Williams and Bill Russell. In retirement, he split time between Fort Myers Beach, FL and Bonnet Shores, RI. He introduced the idea of spending the winters in Fort Myers Beach by extolling the beauty of the pure white sand beaches of the western coast of Florida to his wife.  However, Mary Ellen soon realized a secondary motive when she was greeted by a “Welcome to Fort Myers, winter home of the Boston Red Sox” sign upon her first visit. He greatly enjoyed his life in retirement. He loved living near the beach and also cultivated his expertise in the game of bridge.

Jack was a lifelong animal lover. His humorous adventures with our dogs Kelly and Charlie were common dinner topics - being chased by the animal control officer in Back Bay, attempting to corral Kelly after she began chasing a group of peaceful swans, and the West Roxbury skunk encounters with Charlie. Despite the theft of his apple by a baboon in South Africa, he still maintained a love for animals in the wild as well.

He was the brother of the late Jane Lyell, Philip Peters, Jr., Rosalie Marie Cederlund, Louise Gleason, Judy Peters and Kenneth Peters. Jack was known as the rock of his extended family. He dearly loved his family and supported many through health challenges over the years. Although he disliked buying anything for himself, Jack was generous to anyone who needed help - supporting Rosie’s Place and the Pine Street Inn over the years.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at 10am from the NARDOLILLO FUNERAL HOME & Crematory- SOUTH COUNTY CHAPEL, 1111 Boston Neck Road (Rt. 1A), Narragansett followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11am in St. Veronica Chapel, 1035 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett. VISITATION Saturday from 9-10am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Rosie’s Place, 889 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118 or to Pine Street Inn, 444 Harrison Avenue Boston, MA 02118.

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Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 7, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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