MADISON - John Albert Peters, age 76, died in his sleep on August 23, 2014 at Trinity Senior Community in Madison, Wis. He was born on April 10, 1938 in Seattle,Wash., the son of Arthur Waldemar and Eleanor (Rovelstad) Peters.
John grew up in Elgin, Ill. He received a B.A. in history and political science from the Univ. of Wis--Madison (UW) in 1961, then did graduate study in American history at the Univ. of Ill.--Champaign-Urbana in 1961-1963. Following a year of teaching high school history in Monroe, Wis., John returned to the UW to receive a master's degree in library science. The Wis. Historical Society. Library hired John as the order librarian in 1965, a position he held until becoming the government publications librarian in July 1966. John held this position until his retirement in July 1995. During these years he managed and enriched one of the finest collections of government publications in the U.S., while always helping countless students, scholars and the public with their research needs. John volunteered in government publications after his retirement, managing the Canadian government publications collection until July 2006.
Preceding John in death were his two brothers, Robert Arthur Peters and Arthur Waldemar Peters.
Survivors include his nieces and nephews: Michelle Osborn (Enfield, England), Tracy Allison Stegail Peters, Eric Leif Peters (Chicago, Ill.) and Ian Gray Peters (Granada Hills, Calif.) Close cousins include Annie Lucky (Cabool, MO.) and Marj Hammerstrom (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
Thanks to the dedicated staff of Trinity Senior Community and Homestead Hospice for making John's last days as comfortable as possible as he finally ended an 18-year battle with Parkinson's Disease.
There will be no visitation, memorial services nor need of flowers. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Wis. Historical Foundation for the benefit of the Wis. Historical Society Library. John's ashes will be united with those of his parents in Seattle, Wash.
As a graduate student and young WHS employee who had the joy of working with and learning from John, I'm so sad to learn of his death but so glad to share wonderful memories. John knew government documents like no other librarian I've ever known. He also had a delightfully conspiratorial side, with those sly smiles and tasty tidbits of information that kept me grinning almost every time I saw him. I wish I'd known of his location and struggle with Parkinson's when I visited Madison in 2012 so that I could have seen him again. He is one of my the people who eased my time in graduate school in so many ways. My heart goes out to all who loved this wonderful man. And for John, may I see you again some day with that secretive smile on your face.
Our heartfelt sympathies to the entire family. May you find solace in the love and memories shared together and may God comfort you with these words. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
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