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home : obituaries : obituaries Monday, July 27, 2015

2/4/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
John Merrell Peters
John Merrell Peters
John Merrell Peters, 86, a long-time Fort Dodge attorney, passed away early Mon-day, Feb. 4, 2013, at the Trinity Regional Medical Center.

He was born Jan. 16, 1927, in Roches-ter, Minn., the second child of Sample Rex and Emma Lee Peters. He grew up in DeWitt, where his father owned and oper-ated a shoe store. He attended the public schools in DeWitt, graduating from DeWitt High School in 1944.

After beginning his college studies, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a radio technician near the end of World War II but did not go overseas. He gradu-ated with a bachelor of arts degree in eco-nomics from the State University of Iowa in 1948.

While at the university, he met Mary Lou Poorbaugh, originally from Anamosa. John and Mary Lou were wed in Cedar Rapids Sept. 5, 1948.

John then entered law school, earning his juris doctor from the University of Io-wa Law School in 1951. John was a proud supporter and fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes for the rest of his life.

John and Mary Lou moved to Fort Dodge in 1951, where John began practic-ing law with his older brother, William, also a long-time Fort Dodge attorney, who preceded John in death in August 2003. Mary Lou was an elementary school teacher.

From Jan. 12, 1953, through Jan. 9, 1955, John served as the elected State Representative (Republican) for District 62 in Webster County in the 55th Iowa General Assembly.

When John and Mary Lou returned to Fort Dodge, John continued practicing law, specializing in wills and estates. Dur-ing his long career, he practiced law with his brother, served as a vice president and director for First Federal Savings and Loan in Fort Dodge, served as trust officer for The State Bank of Fort Dodge and also had a solo practice of law.

He was a member of the First Congre-gational United Church of Christ in Fort Dodge, as well as the Phi Beta Kappa aca-demic honor society and the Phi Alpha Delta professional law society. At various times during his life, he was a director of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Lions Club, a director of the "I" Club and a member of the Toastmasters Club, the Masonic Lodge, DeMolay Consistory and the Kaaba Shrine.

John is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Lou, of Fort Dodge; his son, Chuck, and daughter-in-law, Mary Ann Garton Peters, of Cedar Rapids; his son, Jim, and daughter-in-law, Laure Wess Peters, of Cedar Rapids; his son, Tom, and daughter-in-law, Victoria Lee Sicola Pe-ters, of Springfield, Mo.; and his son, Roger, and daughter-in-law, Dr. Lorna Reichl, of Golden Valley, Minn.; as well as nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at First Congrega-tional United Church of Christ, 1611 Wil-liams Dr., in Fort Dodge with the Rev. Joseph Feldmann officiating.

Visitation with the family will be 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at the church.

Arrangements are being made by Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to First Congregational United Church of Christ, Fort Dodge.

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