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John Geoffrey Peters
Viewing: October 4, 2019 (Friday) from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at DeVol Funeral Home, Gaithersburg, MD
Service: October 5, 2019 (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.
Location: Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD


Retired Foreign Service Officer

John Geoffrey Peters, 91, died peacefully on Monday September 30th, 2019 at his home in Montgomery Village, Maryland. He was born January 11th, 1928 in Highland Park, Michigan, the second and youngest child of the late Horace Walter Peters and Edna Louise Clabeaux. 

John graduated in 1946 from Burbank High School in Burbank, California. After high school graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in February 1946 and completed basic training in Louisville, Kentucky. He was assigned to the 88th Infantry Division, Army of Occupation, Trieste, Italy, which provided security to Trieste under the auspices of the United Nations. In 1948 he met a young woman from Trieste, Anna Roncelli. They married on September 23rd, 1948 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Trieste and spent their honeymoon in Rome.

John was honorably discharged from the Army in February 1949 with the rank of corporal. He had been awarded the Word War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal.

John began his career with the U.S. State Department in 1955, starting as a message center clerk. He took the Foreign Service Exam, passed, and joined the Foreign Service in 1956. From 1956 to 1986, he served in diplomatic posts in West Germany (twice), Australia, Greece, Israel, Yugoslavia, as well as the State Department headquarters in Washington, DC. In addition to English, he learned to speak and write German, Serbo-Croatian, Greek and Italian.

John was a student at American University in Washington, DC and received a B.A. in Social Sciences in 1953, and an M.A. in International Relations in 1955. He studied Eastern European Studies at Indiana University from 1964 to 1965. In 1971 he received his Ph.D. in Area Studies from American University.

Anna accompanied him for all his diplomatic tours, while his son and daughter lived with them for much of the period during his assignments in Greece, Israel and West Germany, from 1968 to 1984. John arrived for diplomatic duty in Israel in September 1973, one month before the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt. From October 6th to 26th, 1973, he and his family shared the danger of night air raids on Israeli civilians with the population of Tel Aviv. John retired from the Foreign Service in 1988 after 30 years of service.

From 1989 until 1993, John worked for the Montgomery County (Maryland) government, assessing the market value of homes in the county for tax purposes.

His major leisure interests were reading, the performing arts, Shakespearian drama and classical music.

Anna died in March 2019. In addition to his wife and parents, John was preceded in death by his brother, Horace Andrew Peters. He is survived by his son Michael (Luisa) Peters of Falling Water, West Virginia; daughter Mary (Gerald) Shewan; three grandchildren, William, Elizabeth and James Shewan, all of Montgomery Village.

Friends are invited to call at the DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD on Friday Oct 4th, 2019 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. A short burial service will be conducted at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 13801 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Maryland at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday October 5th. Those wishing to attend the burial should meet the family at Gate of Heaven Cemetery near Section 11 on St. Michael's Ave.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Parkinson's Association.

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DeVol Funeral Home