Farnsley L. “Pete” Peters, 84, of Nokomis, Fla. passed away at home Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013.
He was born Aug. 11, 1929, in Louisville, Ky., the first of four sons to Floyd and Freda (Meyer) Peters. They moved to Glen Ellyn, Ill., in 1944. At Glenbard High School he participated in sports and dramatics.
He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a football scholarship and lettered in both football and track. A member of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, he graduated in 1952 with a B.S. in economics and an Army commission of second lieutenant; immediately went into active duty during the Korean War; and married Jean Davies, whom he met at UW.
Following his discharge from the Army in 1954, Peters and his wife went to Joliet, Ill., to join his father in the family moving and storage business. While in Joliet, Ill., he was active in community affairs, especially the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). He served as president of the Joliet Jaycees and vice president and president of the Illinois Jaycees.
He chose to leave the family business and pursue a career in the chamber of commerce field. He served on the staff of the Madison (Wis.) Chamber of Commerce and was chief executive officer of the Aurora (Ill.), Rockford (Ill.), and Cincinnati (Ohio) chambers of commerce. In Aurora, Ill., he was a member of the team that played an important part in bringing the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to the area. In Rockford, Ill., he served as president of Illinois Chamber of Commerce Executives, board member of American Chamber of Commerce Executives, chairman of the Mideast Institute for Organization Management and an instructor at institutes around the country.
In 1982, he became the chief executive of the Iowa Manufacturers Association with a mandate to create a state association of all businesses. In 1984, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry was founded. Under his leadership at IABI, Leadership Iowa was founded to develop a pool of young leaders; Iowa Commerce Magazine was created; and Business Horizons was formed. He participated in several foreign trade missions.
In 1990, he and Jean moved to Nokomis, Fla., where he served as president of Venice-Nokomis Rotary Club and president of Venice Gondoliers Barbershop Chorus. He was also a member of Sarasota Chorus of the Keys and the Lemon Bay Chord Company. He sang for many years with the choirs of Venice-Nokomis United Methodist Church and Venice Presbyterian Church. He frequently assisted his wife, Jean, with her duties as executive director of the Venice Symphony.
He is survived by his wife, Jean; daughter, Susan, and son-in-law, Patrick Brugh of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; son, David, of Nokomis, Fla.; three grandsons, Miles and Griffin Brugh and Derrik Peters; and his brothers Kenton of Madison, Wis., and Barry of Oswego, Ill.
He was predeceased by his parents, Freda and Floyd Peters, and his brother Tom.
The family is grateful to Tidewell Hospice for its care and support.
Services: A service will be held at Venice Presbyterian Church Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. Ewing Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Contributions: Memorial donations may be sent to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238.