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Dr. Samuel P. Peters Jr., Longtime Centenary Trustee, Benefactor, Dies at 87

Samuel P. Peters Jr.

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Samuel P. Peters Jr., Shreveport civic and business leader and longtime Centenary trustee and benefactor, died Monday, July 24, at Grace Home in Shreveport. He was 87.

Dr. Peters was a loyal Centenary alumnus who worked tirelessly on behalf of numerous causes at the College. The Samuel P. Peters Research Center, an 8,200-square-foot building at the front of the Centenary campus, was named in his honor in 1990. He joined the Centenary Board of Trustees in 1987, and was co-chair of the Development Committee, which spearheaded fundraising efforts on behalf of the Great Teachers and Scholars Fund, the Fulfill the Vision Campaign and the Campaign for Centenary.

Centenary honored Dr. Peters with election to the Alumni Hall of Fame in 1989 and with an honorary doctorate, alongside former First Lady Barbara Bush and novelist Ernest Gaines, during the College's 175th anniversary celebration at commencement 2000. Mrs. Bush later visited Dr. Peters at the Mayo Clinic when, at age 81, he became one of the nation's oldest kidney transplant patients. He received a kidney donated by his wife, Ann Richardson Peters.

He established the Winifred Boles Peters Endowed Scholarship Fund in memory of his first wife, who was a 1939 Centenary graduate who died in 1978. He also established an annual award for the outstanding member of Omicron Delta Kappa honorary leadership fraternity.

As a Centenary student, he was president of Kappa Alpha Order and was elected the first "Centenary Gentleman" during his senior year. He was a saxaphone star of the Kollege Kapers touring musical show, was a member of the Student Senate, business manager of the yearbook and was named to Who's Who Among Students in Amercan Universities and Colleges.

After his graduation in 1939, he began his career as an accountant with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Shreveport, Inc. He became chief accountant, office manager, internal auditor and traveling auditor for the Biedenharn group of bottling plants. He was subsequently elected corporate secretary, vice president and director of four Coca-Cola coporations. He resigned in 1972 to enter the consulting business on a full-time basis, offering services related to evaluation, negotiation, sale, merger, acquisition, liquidation, planning and forecasting, principally to soft drink bottlers. He handled transactions in more than 40 states, Europe and Africa.

From June 1942 through October 1945, he served in the U.S. Navy on a tanker in the Pacific Theatre and later as chief instructor in the Seamanship Department at Fort Schuyler, N.Y. He spent almost three years at sea duty and joined the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade. He passed the standard examination of the American Institute of Certified Public Accoutants in 1949.

Dr. Peters was active on behalf of numerous charitable and educational causes, the arts and his church, First United Methodist Church of Shreveport. He was fundraising committee chairman for the Grace Home, a community residential hospice, which was the state's first residential hospice when it opened in 1996.

For his philanthrophic activities, he was honored as "Outstanding Philanthrophist" in 1995 by the local chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives and was named to the Hall of Fame in Philanthropy by the United Methodist Assocaition of Health and Welfare Ministries in 1996. He was also inducted in the North Louisiana Business Hall of Fame and was a board member of Live Oak Retirement Center and the Shreveport Symphony. He was co-chairman of the Holy Angels Pioneer Home Campaign.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at First United Methodist Church, Shreveport on Wednesday, July 26, at 10:30 a.m. Dr. Pat Day will officiate. The family will receive friends at the church following the memorial service.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Marshall Street.

Dr. Peters was preceded in death by his parents, Zelpha Pullen and Samuel Paul Peters, Sr.; his first wife of 36 years, Winifred Boles Peters; brother, Charles Meredith Peters, and step-son, John Peter Davis, III, all of Shreveport.

He is survived by Ann Richardson Peters, his wife of 27 years; daughter, Judith Peters York, and her husband, Richard, of Tyler, Texas; son, Clayton Paul Peters, and his wife, Sandra, of Kingwood, Texas; and by his sister-in-law, Susan Davies Peters, of Shreveport.

Grandchildren include Christy York McDuffee and her husband, William Coleman, of Alpharetta, Ga.; Jeffrey Brian York and his wife, Rose Marie, of Richardson, Texas; Clayton Paul Peters Jr. of Gainesville, Fla.; and Angela Lee Peters of Kingwood, Texas.

Great-grandchildren include Sarah Jordan McDuffee, Jacob Samuel McDuffee, Hannah Joy McDuffee and Caleb Coleman McDuffee of Alpharetta; and Emily Jo Peters and Darcey Lee Peters of Kingwood. He is also survived by many beloved relatives of the Richardson family. These include Mrs. Paula Camille O’Malley, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Allen Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Frank Richardson and many special nieces and nephews.

Stepchildren include Dorothy Elizabeth Davis and Dr. Paul Michael Davis and his wife, Janet, of Shreveport. Step-grandchildren include Ann-Marie Oakley Allen, Elissa Ann Davis, Zachary Camille Davis, Paul Michael Davis Jr., Stephen Orr Davis and William Joseph Davis.

Pallbearers will be Earl Denny, William Fallbaum, Dr. Kenneth Schwab, Dr. Morris (Dave) White, Jeffrey Brian York, Clayton Paul Peters Jr., Zachary Camille Davis, Herman Pikes, George Sirven and H. Eugene Rogers.

The Trustees of Centenary College of Louisiana will serve as Honorary Pallbearers.


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