In Memoriam: Charles John Peters Jr.


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of Charles John Peters Jr. on September 21, 1997 after a brief illness. He was 54.

“Charlie” was the husband of Stella Mae (Binning) Peters. Born in Acushnet, he resided briefly in both New Bedford and Mattapoisett, but lived most of his life in Acushnet, where he owned the Peters Family Orchard and Cider Mill with his wife and son, John Charles Peters, on North Main Street in the Long Plain section of town. He graduated from the New Bedford Vocational High School, where he studied machining techniques, and later attended the New Bedford Institute of Technology, and the Southeastern MassachusettsTechnological Institute, studying mechanical engineering at both institutes.

Charlie worked at WHOI for 28 years, beginning in 1969 as a Machinist. In 1974 he was promoted to Senior Machinst, and in 1976 was promoted to Experimental Machinist in the Facilities Instrument Shop of the Institution. He was instrumental in the design and fabrication of many complex oceanographic instruments for scientists throughout the institution. His engineering and machining skills and commitment to the projects he worked on were well known to staff. One such project was maintaining and fabricating new parts for the Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) instrument. His suggestions and improvised designs not only saved money but improved lab productivity. Charlie also helped to design and build an instrument tripod used to study the water-sediment interface of the seafloor, was part of a team who worked on an early design and prototype for a manipulator arm for the ROV Jason, and has collaborated extensively with the Alvin group over the years.

Charlie was an active member of the Acushnet community, a member of the Rochester Grange and the ‘Hands Across the River’ project. He served on many town committees, including Acushnet’s Apple-Peach Festival Committee, held each year to promote the town’s apple and peach orchards. Charlie was a nature lover who enjoyed hunting and fishing in his leisure time. He is described by colleagues as someone who was “always a gentleman” and as “an innovative thinker—he could design and build an instrument with only verbal instructions or a rough sketch, and often improve on the original idea.”

He is survived by his wife, Stella Mae (Binning) Peters; his son, John Charles Peters; two sisters, Joan Kudrick and Pearl E. Roeber; and two brothers, John J. Peters and Robert A. Peters.

Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, September 24, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and from 7:00-9:00 p.m., at the Rock Funeral Home, 1285 Ashley Blvd. in New Bedford. A Funeral Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church, Acushnet, will begin at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, September 25th. Interment will follow at Acushnet Cemetary. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Outreach, 243 Forest St., Fall River, MA 02721.


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