Life Story / Obituary
Reverend James Frederick Peters, age 83, passed away Saturday, December 3, 2022, at St. Camillus, Milwaukee. He was born in Milwaukee, WI, November 5, 1939, son of the late Frederick and Miriam (Nee: Glasgow) Peters. The family moved to Minneapolis, MN and became active members at St. John’s Lutheran where he was confirmed.
He graduated from Washburn High School in 1957 and from Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, MN, with a BA in Chemistry in 1962. He entered Northwestern Lutheran Seminary in St Paul, MN, and completed his work there in 1965. He was ordained on June 2, 1965, at Christ Chapel on the Gustavus campus.
On November 27, 1964, in St. Paul, he was united in marriage to Elaine C. Markison. He served as associate pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church from June 3, 1965, to January 1969. He went on to serve as a missionary, fulfilling the role of assistant chaplain and Bible teacher at the Ilboru Secondary School in Arusha Tanzania. Upon returning to the United States of America, he served as the pastor for Faith, St. Henry’s, and Our Savior’s parishes in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Zion Lutheran in Superior, WI, before being called to Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Racine.
He served at Emmanuel from 1985 until his retirement in 2009. Pastor Peters not only served his congregation but also the Racine community as a whole. He graciously officiated at many funerals of those who needed a pastor. He helped make a difference in the community. He was an instrumental member in forming the Racine Interfaith Coalition, a member of the Racine Vocational Ministry, and a member of the Society of the Holy Trinity. He also faithfully served on the Meru Synod Committee nurturing the relationship between the ELCA and Meru Diocese.
When he had spare time, he enjoyed swapping jokes, watching reruns of MASH and British comedies, checking out the newest gadgets, working on the computer, going to the theater and to concerts, and enjoying photography.
He will be remembered as loving and caring with a generous heart, a joyful smile, a wink, and a wicked sense of humor. He was a devoted minister, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, and friend who will be dearly missed.
Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Elaine; 3 children, Amanda (William) Tenwinkel of Waukesha, Dietrick (Lisa) Peters of Racine, and Rev. Mark (Martha) Peters of Ft. Wayne, IN; grandchildren, Rachel, Rebecca, and Jack Tenwinkel, Sarah (Luke) Hoggatt, Christian Peters, Paul, Frederick, Russell, and Benjamin Peters; other relatives and many dear friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Nancy (David) Barton, and Beth (Terry) McCabe.
Funeral services will be held at Living Faith Lutheran Church, 2915 Wright Ave, Racine, WI, on Friday, December 30, 2022, at 2 pm with Reverend Justin Kierzek officiating. Relatives and friends may meet prior to the service from 12 pm until 2 pm. Private interment will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park. Memorials to one’s favorite charity have been suggested.
The service will be live-streamed and may be viewed by going to the funeral home website, select Pastor Peters page, select service, and select live-stream.
The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the staff of St. Camillus and St. Camillus Hospice for their loving and compassionate care.