Leonard Edward Peters was born to Edward and Mary (Sterba) Peters in Narka, Kansas, on December 22, 1928. He passed away in Albany, Oregon, on May 27, 2019, at the age of 90 years, 4 months and 3 days. He grew up during the depression, but the hardships were nothing new for his family which was of Czech descent. He attended schools in Narka and walked 2 ½ miles both ways to school and home. He was joined by brother Albert and sister Marlene by the time he was 10.
Farming was hard for those in Kansas due to lack of feed, seed and water caused by the dust storms. Dust was in and on everything. The roads were rutted and had potholes. It was sad that they all ate so much dust as they lived through those hard times.
Leonard accepted Jesus Christ at the age of 12 and at the age of 15, was baptized in the Presbyterian church where his God-fearing parents attended.
Leonard graduated from Narka High School on May 30, 1948, in a class of about 17. By October 14, 1948, he had enlisted in the United States Navy where he served for 22 years. He served at Alameda NAS for 9 years (3 tours), Japan for 3 years, Hawaii for 6 years (2 tours) and 3 years at Whidby Island, WA. He also served on the USS Coral Sea and the USS Princeton. It was found that his job as Store Keeper in supplying the planes was better served on land. Leonard retired July 1, 1970 as a Chief Petty Officer, E7.
While serving in Alameda, CA NAS he met and later married Winifred Larrsen in 1961. Winnie joined him as he served in Hawaii and Whidby Island. After his retirement, they bought a house on Burkhart St. where Skippy Peanut Butter was founded. In March of 1999, Winnie passed away.
Leonard joined a grief support group and met Linda Coffey, who had lost her husband in November 1998. Linda moved to Albany, Oregon, in May of 2001 to care for her mother, Doris Winter, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. On June 22, 2004, Leonard and Linda married at Calvary Community Church, a country church in Albany, Oregon, with Pastor Martin Haase officiating.
Leonard loved to go to thrift stores and yard sales. He said that his nickname was “Free” because the free boxes were his favorite thing at yard sales. He spent many hours puttering in the yard and in his two sheds. He was a rather quiet man who loved the Lord, reading his Bible, and going to the Men’s breakfast at Calvary Community Church.
Leonard was preceded in death by his father, Edward Peters; mother, Mary Sterba Peters; brother Albert Peters; brother-in-law Dennis Robbins; first wife, Winifred Peters; stepson Gary Larrsen; and nephew Eldon Robbins.
Leonard is survived by his wife Linda Peters of home, and her 5 children and their families, and his sister Marlene Robbins of Lenora, Kansas, and her 7 children and their families.
A memorial service was held at Calvary Community Church in Albany, Oregon, on September 21, 2019 at 2:00 PM.
Graveside service will take place on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., at Tabor Cemetery, rural Munden, Kansas, with Pastor Mike McWinnie officiating.
Military Honors will be conducted by the United States Navy Honor Detail.
Following the service, the family will greet friends at a light reception, at the Zion Evangelical Church in Munden, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Leonard’s name for the Missionaries at Calvary Community Church, or Samaritan Evergreen Hospice, and may be sent in care of the funeral home.
Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home of Belleville, and AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home of Albany, Oregon, assisted the Peters family with these arrangements.