Michael James Peters, born April 29, 1942 in Los Angeles to Ellen Ronsgaard Peters and Donald Taylor Peters, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 15 due to complications from bladder cancer. He was 74 years old.
For 38 years Mike and his family lived in a country home in Deer Park where he proudly hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings for family and friends. His barbecued turkey is legendary. Mike loved playing pool and played in tournaments and was professional caliber. When in his 40’s a friend invited him to play a round of golf for the first time and he never stopped. With retirement Mike became a volunteer at the Vintner’s Golf Club in Yountville, a second home for him and second act in life in which he continued to meet and make many new friends on and off the golf course.
After graduating with the St. Helena Class of 1960, he served with the Air Force from 1962 to 1966 and was stationed at the satellite tracking station at Vandenberg AFB.
In 1967 Mike worked at Kaiser Steel in Napa as a pipe-fitter. Shortly thereafter, he became an apprentice graduate at Mare Island and was assigned to Shop 67 as an electronic mechanic where he repaired the electronic counter measure equipment on nuclear submarines, which at the time was very top-secret. His work on submarines, including exciting sea-trials, was a source of pride throughout his life and provided fascinating tales he enjoyed sharing with family and friends.
Mike changed careers in 1973 and became self-employed after purchasing Veach Television in Calistoga. His friend and fellow Mare Island co-worker Bill Aden became a partner in the business which was re-named Aden-Peters Electronics. They expanded to another location in St. Helena and in 1975 Mike became sole owner of Peters Electronics in St. Helena, and Bill sole owner of the Calistoga store.
During his 36 years on Main Street in St. Helena Mike repaired and sold televisions, stereos, records and guitars, installed TV antennas, and made service calls all over the valley. As technology changed so would his business plans and he would enjoy the heyday of his movie rental business known as Peters Video until he retired in 2009. There was a Peters Video store in St. Helena, Calistoga, and Napa, including a store in Yountville before closing and moving to Napa.
Active in the community, Mike was named St. Helena Chamber of Commerce President in 1976. He was also active in the St. Helena Swim Club with his daughter and cycling clubs with his son. He enjoyed making friends with customers and watching Main Street St. Helena change and grow.
Raised alone by his single mother who was a registered nurse piqued his interest in his paternal family tree. Via the internet, Mike discovered the childhood home of the father he never knew and happily met the Peters side of his family in Wyoming.
In addition to road trips to Arizona, Washington, Victoria, BC, Idaho, Utah, Montana and Wyoming, the couple traveled to Europe, Hawaii and Mexico.
Growing up Mike was accustomed to changing schools and starting over, living in Tucson, Az., Stockton, Martinez, Ukiah and Lakeport all before the 12th grade. Childhood memories include selling newspapers, working in pool halls, picking walnuts and grapes, hunting and fishing, and raising racing pigeons. But it was St. Helena that would become his home.
After moving into a small apartment with his mother on Sulphur Springs Avenue, he met and fell in love with fellow high school senior Anita Monroy who lived up the street. Together they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 07, 2017.
Mike is survived by his wife, Anita, his two children Michael and Amy, and her husband Scott Hutton. He will be dearly missed by the entire Monroy family, whom he loved very much. He leaves second cousins Tom Peters, Pam Peters Shaul, Vivian Peters Ellingford, Kendra Peters Lewis and Robert Thomas.
Mike’s family is grateful to the many gestures of love and support that have been pouring in.
A graveside service will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in St. Helena on Saturday, April 22, 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow at the Club House at Vineyard Valley Mobile Home Park.