Roland W. Peters, 89, of Torrington, CT, died Friday, 7 August at Valerie Manor Nursing Home. He was born in Danforth, ME on 26 February 1931, son of Roland L. and Cora (Wilson) Peters, and grew up in Jonesport, Maine. He graduated from Jonesport High School class of 1949 where he was a member of the basketball team. He attended the University of Maine at Orono, graduating in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army and completed Air Defense Artillery training at Ft. Bliss, El Paso, TX; then assigned to the Air Defense Artillery Battalion in Niagara Falls, NY, and discharged as a 1LT in June 1955.
Roland arrived in Torrington in August 1955 to work for the Torrington Company as an Engineer in the Maintenance Department. He met his future wife, Barbara (Zak), at the Torrington Company. He spent his entire career there, working first at the Standard Plant, then as Plant Engineer of the Broad Street Plant & Wire Mill, and later at the Standard Plant and Excelsior Plant. He traveled occasionally to other Torrington Company facilities in the U.S. and Canada, and also spent 3-1/2 years at Torrington Portuguesa S.A.R.L. in Abóboda, Portugal from 1973 to 1976. His family joined him there for 2-1/2 years and it was the experience of a lifetime for his children. Roland retired from The Torrington Company in 1996 after 41 years. Roland was a member of the Torrington Company bowling league and, after retirement, tried his hand at curling. He was a member of the Retirees group that met monthly at various restaurants, and lastly Oliver Wolcott Trade School, a member of the Foreman’s Club, and the American Institute of Plant Engineers.
In the late '70s and early '80s he could often be seen on the sidelines at Torrington High School boys’ varsity soccer games to watch his sons play. He always supported his sons' scouting activities, first as an active parent with Boy Scout Troop 10 (St Mary Church - Torrington), then as a registered adult leader and committee member with Troop 273 (American Embassy - Lisbon, Portugal) where both he and Barbara attended meetings and activities with the parents of the other scouts, accompanying them on various outings, and then again with Troop 4 (First United Methodist Church - Torrington) upon the family's return from Portugal.
He and Barbara also shared a love of gardening and landscaping, tending an amazing organic raised-bed garden in their backyard for decades. Roland studied the science of gardening and meticulously planned the rotation of various plants in their raised beds to get the best produce each year. His efforts earned Barbara and him many red, white, and blue ribbons at the Goshen Fair over the years. He was also an excellent woodworker and could often be found in his basement workshop working on a project or constructing/renovating rooms in the house. He was a Boston Red Sox fan and enjoyed attending local baseball games in Torrington, especially the Torrington Twisters. He left Maine in 1954, but even after 66 years his "Down East" accent remained.
Roland was known to be both extremely intelligent and humble. He was an amazingly gentle man whose love for his family was beyond measure. He literally had not an enemy in the world, as anyone who met him took an immediate liking to him and his easy-going nature.
Roland was a church-going man and faithfully attended Sunday Mass with his wife and children. No matter where the family visited, the first thing he would do was drive around to find a Catholic Church and check the time for Sunday Mass. He took part in everything his wife and children did in their faith, and in October 2013, made the decision to attend RCIA classes. Roland was received into the church Easter Sunday 2014, choosing Thomas as his Confirmation name, which happened to be the name of paternal ancestors in four different generations going back to the 1600s.
Roland is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Barbara; daughter Andrea (Bruce) Strawinski of Torrington (extended family Bruce Jr and Viviani, their children Marina, Mark, Sofia, and Luke; Stephen and Michelle, their daughters Alaina, Alexandra, and Aleesa); son Matthew of Torrington (grandchildren, Mackenzie of Conway, SC; Justin of Winsted, CT); son Mark (Janet) of Fayetteville, NC (grandson Michael, 2nd Class (Junior) Cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point); son Steven (Maria) of Yorktown, VA (granddaughter Cecelia, grandson Zachariah, granddaughter, Jill (Kyle) Edwards and great-grandson Ethan Edwards, all of Columbia, MO); and many nieces and nephews.
Roland was predeceased by his mother Cora, who died weeks after his 13th birthday; his father Roland L. Peters; stepmother Esther (Joyce) Peters; and grandson John Michael Peters.
The family thanks the entire staff of Valerie Manor for their diligent and loving care, especially nurses Jennie and Cindy, Athena hospice nurses and aids, and so many others who cared for our dad for over 2 years, with special thanks to Mandy. Their efforts, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, were always on patient care and family support. Thanks to Valerie Manor, Roland survived and recovered from COVID-19 in May and died peacefully of natural causes. Barbara, Andrea and Matthew were able to visit with him one last time on Thursday, and Mark and Steve were able to visit dad "virtually" with the help of Tracy and the staff of the Recreation Department at Valerie Manor.
Roland had a beautiful Mass of the Resurrection said by his family friend of 58 years, Fr. Francis Fador at Saint Peter Church 107 East Main St. Torrington at 11 AM August 13, followed by burial at Saint Peter Cemetery.
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Saint John Paul The Great Parish
160 Main St, Torrington CT 06790
Valerie Manor Recreation Dept
1360 Torringford St, Torrington CT 06790