Princeton Nassau Pediatrics is sad to report that Dr. William John “Bill” Peter, longtime Princeton resident and pediatrician passed away peacefully on January 1, 2017 at his home in Skillman.
Bill was born in Southampton, New York on December 29, 1934, the only child of Eric and Hildegard Peter. Eric and Hildegard had emigrated from Essen, Germany to the United States before the war. They landed in New York City and lived there for a year before moving east to Southampton where they would establish themselves, ultimately as owners of a clothing shop for children. Bill was a serious student and avid athlete. Bill graduated from Southampton High School where he played on the football, basketball, and lacrosse teams. Summers during high school were spent working as a lifeguard on the ocean beaches of Southampton where he met identical twin McDermott sisters, Patricia and Penelope, later marrying Penelope. After high school he went on to the University of Pennsylvania where he played lacrosse and spent a year rowing crew. While at Penn he joined the local chapter of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and earned the nickname “Sneaky Pete” and was known as a somewhat mischievous country boy. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957, Bill continued his education in Montreal studying medicine at McGill University and completing his medical degree. After McGill, Bill was a resident in New York City at Bellvue Hospital. Bill moved to Princeton in 1964, joining the Princeton Medical Group and practicing pediatric medicine. He would later become a founding partner of Nassau Pediatrics serving the greater Princeton community for over 30 years. He completed his military service as a medical staff member of the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. For a man who pursued a medical career out of an interest in science, Bill truly loved his pediatric practice and the relationships that he developed with his patients, their parents, and the Princeton community that he served.
Bill had many enthusiasms and firmly believed that he could learn just about anything from a book, which proved to be truer for some of his pursuits than it was for others. Anyone who attempted to enter one of his overstuffed garages bore witness to his pastimes; from half finished woodworking projects, to sailboats, canoes, windsurfers, and motor boats in various states of repair and use. He was a self taught sailor, an enthusiastic windsurfer, amateur gardener, accomplished tennis and squash player and an avid bird watcher who could often be seen walking with his favorite dog, Henry, for whom he had a deep affection.
Bill is survived by his second wife Firoozeh Peter who provided him with great comfort, care, and companionship in his later years. He is also survived by Firoozeh’s two daughters Tory and Jasmine and her 2 children all of whom live in New Orleans, La. Bill is predeceased by his first wife Penelope McDermott Peter. He is also survived by his four sons and eight grandchildren among them; Cornelius Peter of Los Angeles, Calif.; Christopher Peter of New Canaan, Conn.; William Peter Jr. of San Jose, Calif; and Jonathan Peter of Darien, Conn.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Church in Princeton at 33 Mercer Street on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 11 a.m.