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17 January, 2011


For some time I have been wanting to publish a story about a remarkable lady, the mother of an old Dresden chum and baseball teammate, who was approaching her 100th birthday.  This is not the story I had hoped for.

Mrs. Mary Peters, celebrating her 100th
birthday.  Bright and cheery as always.

Mary Francis Peters, of Chatham and formerly of nearby Dresden, 
celebrated her 100th birthday with a party Saturday, January 15.  She passed away in hospital scant hours later after suffering a fainting spell. 

Typically, Mrs. Peters was in good spirits as she welcomed friends and family from as far away as Vancouver and California to the party at her Caleb Village home in Chatham.  Having reached the centurion milestone surrounded by joy and love, she slipped away quietly on Sunday to join two other loved ones who were not present for her celebration -- late husband Carmen and cherished daughter Margaret.

The last time I saw Mrs. Peters (I never called her by any other name) was at the Dresden Sports Hall of Fame dinner two years ago.  At 98 years of age she was the picture of health and very proud of her son Jim who as a member of the celebrated Dresden Junior Kings Hockey Club back in the 1960s, was inducted into the local sports shrine. Eldest son Bob was the recipient of the same honor several years earlier as a member of the 1953 Ontario champion Dresden Legionnaires Juveniles Baseball Club.    

"I've tried to live a good life and a clean life," she told a newspaper reporter Saturday afternoon before her party, adding she also lived with a lot of love in her life.  She said her two sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren kept her going.  "I've just lived my own life," she said in reflection.

And what a wonderful life it was.  She was a breath of fresh air for all who new her, and as she will continue to be in her new home, surrounded still by those who love her and have been waiting for her to join them.  Together, they will rest in eternal peace.

Our thoughts will be with Bob, Jim and their families over the course of the next few days as they continue the celebration of Mrs. Peters' long life.  The funeral service will be held on Thursday at St.Paul's Congregational Church, 11:00 a.m.  Visitation at McKinlay Funeral Home, 459 St. Clair Street, Chatham, Wednesday 3:00-5:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m. 

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