Donald Melvin Peters, 89-year-old Pryor, Okla., resident and member of the First Freewill Baptist Church, passed away at home, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Don was born Nov. 11, 1932, in Pryor, Okla., to Lee Oliver and Alberta Jewel (Gilreath) Peters. When Don was a young child, his family moved to Tehachapi, Calif., where he graduated from high school and was athlete of the year.
In 1953, Don was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in the Korean War until 1955. Upon returning from Korea, he married the love of his life, Caroline White, on Feb. 5, 1955, making their first home in a house he had built himself. While in Tehachapi, Don worked for GM as a mechanic and later as a foreman for a construction company while attending college.
In 1969 they relocated, with their four children, to Atascadero, Calif., where Don was employed as a locksmith and maintenance supervisor for the San Luis Obispo School District for 15 years, occasionally trekking back to Tehachapi to assist his brother in building houses. Don later owned and operated “Don’s Corner” (gas station and small market) just off Highway 101. Over the years as Don and Caroline's family grew; they were proud supporters of their children’s and eventual grandchildren’s various hobbies, interests and sports teams. In 2005, Don and Caroline celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and a few months later moved back to Pryor to enjoy retirement in his hometown.
Don was extremely proud of his service to his country and was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 10365 in Pryor. Don always had his Korean War Vet hat on when leaving the house and loved riding in the Veterans Day parades. In his spare time, Don loved working with his hands, tinkering in his shop, completing various woodworking projects, and could always be spotted with a baby in his arms or on his lap. Don was a family man and will fondly be remembered for his hard work and dedication to his family and country.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Jesse Peters and Kenneth Peters, and sister Joy Austin. He is survived by Caroline, his wife of over 67 years; daughters Victoria Stone (Kurt) of Nampa, Idaho, and Donealia “Cathy” Wissman (Bret) of Tulsa, Okla.; sons Dr. Donald Lee Peters, D.C. (Denise) of Pryor, Okla. and Denton Peters (Kris) of Las Vegas, Nev.; grandchildren Josh Dodson (Liz) of Bakersfield, Calif.; Briana French (Matt) of Nampa, Idaho; Tia Stone (Ben) of Destin, Fla.; Dr. Alexandria Robart, D.C. (Asa) of Pryor, Okla.; Ariel Perez (John Paul) of Meridian, Idaho; Jurhi Ritter (Rob) of Tulsa, Okla.; Caroline Watson (Nick) of Salida, Colo.; Elizabeth Bradbury (Brady) of Pryor, Okla.; Abigail Peters of Salida, Colo.; Denton Peters II (Molly) of Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.; Katie Sundvick (Davin) of Las Vegas, Nev.; sister Wanda Hawn of Bakersfield, Calif.; sisters-in-law Shirley Peters of Tehachapi, Calif.; Tressie Freeze of Bakersfield, Calif.; 16 great-grandchildren with one on the way, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2022, at the Stephens-Key Chapel in Pryor.
The celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2022, at 10 a.m. in the funeral home chapel, with Brother Thomas Ballard officiating. The interment will follow at Graham Cemetery in Pryor, Okla. Casket bearers will be his grandsons and grandsons-in-law. Friends may give memorial gifts in Don’s memory to the VFW Post 10365 in Pryor, Okla. Online condolences may be made at www.stephens-key.com or on the funeral home Facebook page. Arrangements are in care of the Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care of Pryor.