Richard Peters
1928 - 2021
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Memorial services for Richard Carl Peters, 92, Lawrence, will be held at a later date. Richard passed away on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at his home.

Richard was born on March 20, 1928 in Frankfort, Kansas the son of Carl and Hazel (Cisne) Peters. His childhood was in part defined by the Great Depression and World War II, with the family relocating repeatedly throughout the Midwest, and his father frequently absent due to work. Despite the hardships, he recalled his childhood as being quite happy. He became an Eagle Scout in 1942, while living in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, at 14 years of age. The family returned to Kansas City in 1943, and Richard graduated from Westport High School in 1945.

World War II ended before he could join, but Richard enlisted in the Army after the war, serving first in the Infantry, and then as a draftsman with Corps of Engineers, to include a six month stint in the Aleutian islands. After separating from the Army, Richard began his architecture studies at the University of Kansas with the help of the GI Bill and the Army Air Force ROTC. His studies were interrupted in 1951, when he was called back to active duty during the Korean conflict. Richard remained an officer in the Air Force Reserve, occasionally being recalled to active duty, such as during the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and ultimately retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1976.

Richard separated from active duty in 1953, returned to KU, and completed his architectural degree in 1954. He worked for several architectural firms following graduation, and in 1957, at just 29 years of age, decided to start his own firm. The early years were difficult, but with experience and incremental successes, the firm grew and later merged with another practice, becoming larger still. Richard stayed with his firm for 33 years, and was very proud of their many projects, to include the following:

Deerfield Elementary School, Babcock Senior Apartments., Haworth Hall and Child Development Center., Lawrence City Hall, Lawrence Public Library, Edgewood Public Housing, Frank Carlson Federal Office Building in Topeka, Maupintour Travel headquarters {now KU Extension}, Alvamar and Lawrence Country Clubs, the Golf Course Superintendents Headquarters, First Baptist Church, Westside Presbyterian Church, and his personal favorite, the home he designed and had built for his family in Lawrence.

He married Mary Kathleen Denny in 1951. They celebrated their 50 year anniversary in 2001, and were blessed with three children and five grandchildren. Kathy passed away in 2007, but Richard was delighted to find a second "love of his life" in Carol Louise (Freeman) Owen They were married on May 18, 2008 in Lawrence, Kansas. She survives of the home.

Richard was a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); a past president of the Kansas Chapter of the AIA; a distinguished alumnus of the KU school of architecture and a prior visiting professor at the school; a past member of the board of directors for the Lawrence National Bank, United Way, and Cottonwood; past president Lawrence Country Club; past elder and trustee for the Westside Presbyterian Church; and a 50 year member of Rotary.

Other survivors include his children, Chris (Julie) Peters, Coralville, Iowa, Laura Peters, Overland Park, KS, John Peters, Wellington, KS; step-children, Dan (Connie) Owen, Overland Park, KS, Sarah Bourgeois (Rod) Old Greenwich, CT, Cisley Thummel (Rob) Leawood, KS; sister-in-law, Virginia Kinsch, Topeka; nephews, Greg Peters, Middletown, CA, Brad Peters, Overland Park, KS; grandchildren, Cole, Jake, and Caleb Peters, Hailey Vincent, Ethan Rackham, step-grandchildren, Garrett and Ben Owen, Daniel and Mark Bourgeois, Caroline and Joe Thummel; great-grandson, Liam Peters. He was preceded in death by his beloved brother, Harold Peters.

Richard was a self-avowed "car nut", who chronicled the dozens of cars he had owned, beginning with his first, a 1931 Chevrolet coupe with a rumble seat. He never met a dog he didn't like, and he and Kathy raised two litters of AKC-certified Beagles early in their marriage. Richard obviously loved architecture and design, and always cherished having met Frank Lloyd Wright as a student at KU. Speaking of which, he has been a lifelong fan of all things Jayhawk, and of his adopted hometown of Lawrence.

Richard also loved to travel, beginning with trips to both Montana and Florida when he was merely 16 years of age. Alone, with Kathy, later with Carol, and frequently with close friends or extended family members, Richard visited all fifty states, and multiple countries around the world. Most of all, though, Richard loved people. Family, of course, who he cherished dearly. Friends, as well, who he had in amazing abundance. Professional associates, also, who valued his input, as he did theirs. Strangers were just people he hadn't gotten to know, yet.

Richard's love of life, of people, and of new experiences, will be missed by all who knew him.

Memorial contributions may be made in Richard's name to the Salvation Army or Family Promise, and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

For more information or to post a condolence go to warrenmcelwain.com.


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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Jan. 3, 2021.
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4 entries
January 6, 2021
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January 6, 2021
Sympathy gifts were selected in loving memory of Richard Peters. To send a gift visit our online store.
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Ronald Jones
January 5, 2021
We had been neighbors for 21 years with Richard and Cathy, then Richard and Carol. They were wonderful neighbors always stopping by to visit while on their walks. Richard had wonderful stories to tell. He will be dearly missed. Sending prayers for all.
Carmen Hocking
Neighbor
January 3, 2021
I was a pre-teen when the Peters family first started coming to our church ~ West Side Presbyterian. The first thing I noticed about Dick and Kathy was their openness to meeting new people. They were very easy to converse with and as a kid that meant a lot to me. They seemed to hang onto every word that was said to them with earnest interest. I also immediately thought of Dick as a big, but gentle teddy bear. He was so comfortable to be around, quick with a very warm smile and always complementary or encouraging with all around him. His sense of humor usually made me groan with a smile and laugh! I remember when they had bought the brand new Honda Civic when it first came out. That car was so dinky and to watch Dick fold himself into or unfold himself to come out of that car was pretty hysterical and he knew it! He was always a pleasure to be around and having him as a fellow church parishioner and friend has been a true blessing. I have missed Kathy very much (especially her smile and laugh!) and will miss Dick as much, too. They are together again and may they rest in peace. Thank you, Dick and Kathy, for some warm, fond memories.
Kat Freitag Cooney
Friend
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