Aug. 26, 1918 — Dec. 24, 2018
Surrounded by family, longtime Longview resident, Elsie Mae Peters, 100, peacefully entered her heavenly home just before midnight on Dec. 24, 2018. Elsie was born to Frank and Mabel (Krause) Thompson on Aug. 26, 1918, in Detroit, Mich., the second of four children. After humble beginnings there, she was raised in Batavia, Ill., during The Great Depression. She developed a strong work ethic, gaining wisdom with humility and thrift. The first time she took a bookkeeping class, she enjoyed it so much that it became a lifetime passion.
Following graduation from Batavia High School, she became the office manager for a plumbing supply business. In September 1943, she left Batavia to join the Marine Corps. She served as a logistician in the Corps until December 1945 when she was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. She received the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Immediately following her discharge from the Corps at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station (near Los Angeles), she and a fellow female Marine traveled to Longview to find employment. She resided in Longview for the remainder of her life.
She found employment as a bookkeeper at the Long-Bell Retail Yard. Shortly after her arrival, she met a young local contractor, Amos J. Peters, who traded there. This was the beginning of a lifelong love and partnership. They were married on Nov. 22, 1947. Over the years, the Long-Bell Retail Yard complex changed ownership a few times until Amos and Elsie became sole owners of the very property where they first met. For many years that property was the operations facility for Amos J. Peters Construction Company. Years later the family sold the property to Fibre Federal Credit Union where FFCU built their corporate headquarters building at Commerce and Douglas. Whenever Elsie drove by the new headquarters building she would affectionately call it “my” building.
Amos J. Peters Construction Company started in the family home. Elsie worked as the bookkeeper and general business manager in addition to serving as a full-time wife and mother. Elsie’s life centered around her family, her faith and her friends. She was a highly principled woman who preferred to serve tirelessly behind the scenes. Her family regarded Elsie as a living example of the wife of noble character described in Proverbs 31.
When the construction company moved out of the family home, Elsie focused on all the other family financial books from home. Shortly before Amos’ death in 1984, Elsie rejoined the construction company business full-time and together with her sons, Mark and Roger, continued the business for nearly 20 years after Amos’ death. The Amos J. Peters family was in the construction business for more than half a century.
Elsie excelled at bookkeeping, her passion. The family’s certified public accountant who had served on the Oregon Governor’s Board of Accountancy, complimented Elsie numerous times about her excellent bookkeeping skills. Likewise, an auditor for the Washington State Department of Revenue told Elsie during a routine business audit of the construction company how much she enjoyed doing that audit because Elsie’s books were so accurate and complete.
Starting in 1962, Elsie was an active member of the Northlake Church in Longview. She loved singing in the choir and the Joy Group, served several times as the financial secretary, attended Bible studies, acted in church theater productions, and served on the pastoral search committee. She also loved playing the piano at home.
She was a member of the Longview ‘23 Club, the Longview Women’s Christian Club, the Longview Country Club, the Hunt Club and the Gala Club. In her later years, Elsie was an active member of the Better Bones and Balance Exercise Program at LCC beginning with the program’s first class. She was still participating at age 100 until just weeks before her death.
Above all else, Elsie loved being involved with her family members and their many activities, sports and other events. Although quite shy and reserved, Elsie was easily animated in the presence of family and close friends. She shared much joy, laughter and uniquely special connections with each of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends.
Elsie traveled extensively, often to visit family here and abroad. Memorable trips included the Holy Land, witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall, hiking in the Bavarian Alps, visiting the tulip gardens in Holland, seeing castles in Europe, a cruise around Southeast Asia and trips to Hawaii and Cancun.
Elsie was preceded in death by her husband, Amos, and all of his and her siblings and their spouses, several nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.
Elsie is survived by her sons, Mark Amos Peters (Cheryl) and Roger M. Peters, both of Longview; daughter Lynn Peters Murray (Kirk) of Little Rock, Ark.; grandsons Matt Murray of San Clemente, Calif., Peter Murray (Beth) of Seattle, and Kevin Riley Peters of Denver, Colo.; granddaughters Amy Peters Upshaw of Longview and Morgan Murray of New York City, N.Y.; great-grandsons Luke Hoerer and Aiden Murray, both of San Clemente, Henry James Upshaw of Longview and Laurence Kirk Murray of Seattle; and great-granddaughters Alexa Murray of San Clemente and Eleanor Murray of Seattle.
Elsie’s family appreciates the wonderful sustenance and comfort given to her by those who cared for her at Canterbury Gardens and Peace Health Hospice Southwest during the last few weeks and days of her life.
Private entombment has taken place at Longview Memorial Park. Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park was in charge of arrangements.
A celebration of Elsie’s life and faith will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Northlake Church, 2614 Ocean Beach Hwy., in Longview with Pastor Mark Schmutz and Dr. James H. Conrod officiating.
Contributions may be made in Elsie’s honor to Three Rivers Christian School, 2610 Ocean Beach Hwy., Longview, WA 98632.