John Bernard Peters was a humanitarian who had a passion for helping others.
He died Aug. 13, 2012 at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital. He was 82.
He was born to April 14, 1930 to Raleigh J. Peters, Sr. and Viola Holmes Peters in Philadelphia. He was the youngest of three children. He was baptized at Holy Trinity Baptist Church at a young age.
Affectionately known as “Nardsy, “Bernie,” or “Mr. P,” Peters was educated in the Philadelphia school system. He opted to postpone the completion of his high school education to care and provide for his ill mother. At age 70, he successfully passed the exams and obtained his GED.
In 1950, he married Priscilla Johnson and from this union three daughters were born.
In understanding the dynamics for a successful family life, Peters set the bar high for himself. He had exceptional work ethics. He was employed in the dairy industry, working at Sealtest and Breyers for 41 years, never missing a day. He also worked on weekends for El’s Market. Upon retiring from the dairy industry, he began a second career with the School District of Philadelphia at the Pepper Middle School where he remained for 10 years.
He called on the elders in the family to let them know they were not forgotten and kept in touch with many friends from the old neighborhood. He volunteered at all the functions and activities in which his daughters participated. He could be found at church functions, YMCA of West Philadelphia dances and skating parties. He was also involved in the YMCA’s Buddy System and Big Brothers/Big Sisters where he mentored young boys from single parent households, encouraging them to be the best that they can be in life.
As an avid boxing fan and a former boxer, Peters taught boxing for fitness to YMCA members and encouraged them to learn the proper techniques used in this sport. He volunteered his time to school the boxing students about life, school, working hard, and planning for a future and success. Parents often called on him to advise and support the boxing students whenever there was a need.
Peters was a consummate dresser and dancer who would take the floor at all affairs to show his bopping and line dance skills.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Raleigh J. Peters, Jr. and Gerald W. Peters.
Peters is survived by his daughters, Judith, Donna and Priscilla; granddaughter, Heather; cousin, Bernice Mays; childhood friend, Julian Ervin; brother-in-law, Gregory Rocker, special friend, Alice Brown and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held Sept.16 at the YMCA of West Philadelphia, 5120 Chestnut Street.