DOUGLAS D. PETERS
February 14, 1935 – October 8, 2020
Doug Peters passed peacefully as the sun set on October 8th, 2020 in Yakima, Washington after a day spent with his loving wife of 61 years, Marj, his children, and his grandchildren. His life was marked by kindness, faith, curiosity, and a belief in possibilities. Doug was born in 1935 in Seattle, Washington to Ruth and Henry Peters. After marrying the love of his life, Marjorie Johnson, and graduating from the University of Washington School of Law, he began his legal career in Selah, Washington. He was mentored by the firm’s founder, Robert Felthouse, as well as Robert Brachtenbach, who later became the Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court. Doug eventually became the senior partner of the firm Peters, Schmalz, Fowler, and Inslee. Doug was a mentor himself, hiring and serving as a role model for Governor Inslee as well as many other attorneys, including three current Yakima County and Washington State judges. It was a small firm with a large reputation, supported by Doug’s integrity, wisdom, and 42 years of practice, including many as the attorney for the City of Selah.
His commitment to service went well beyond his legal career. Doug was dedicated to making Selah, Yakima, Washington State, and the world a better place through his work in the community. His particular focus was on education and the environment. He helped found the Yakima Valley Greenway, and the Selah Kiwanis club. He served as board chair for the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, the Nature Conservancy of Washington State, the Yakima Bar Association, the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys, and the Yakima Valley College Board of Trustees. Additionally, he served on the board for the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Volunteer Attorney Services, the Yakima Valley College Foundation, the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, Habitat for Humanity, the Yakima Regional Library, the League of Women Voters, OIC, the Yakima Community Foundation, and as a Commissioner on the State Parks and Recreation Board.
Doug had many interests that fed his curious mind. The world and people were endlessly fascinating to him. He devoured good journalism and political news. He loved strawberry milkshakes, music, movies, coffee, conversation, and “characters.” His circle of friends was diverse and appeared everywhere he went. Doug’s faith, and love of organ music, was enhanced by his time as an Elder at First Presbyterian Church (Grace of Christ) in Yakima. He enjoyed Saturday morning with his Bible Study Fellowship group. He was an avid sailor. For many years, he co-owned a sailboat with his friend Stan Clark. He was at home on Rimrock Lake, ending most voyages on the water with a slice of pie at The Cove. Each summer for over 30 years, Doug and Marj attended plays at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and concerts at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville. As a lefty pitcher for Roosevelt High School, Doug developed a passion for baseball, taking Marj to a Rainiers game in Seattle on their first date. His devotion to the Mariners included many games at the Kingdome and Safeco Field, including the first games ever played at each stadium. He traveled with his sons to Boston, New York, and Detroit to see his team play in legendary parks before they were remodeled. For decades, he and Marj traveled to spring training games in Arizona with relatives and friends.
Doug’s sense of curiosity extended to travel. He and Marj visited countries all over the world. They imparted a love of nature to their children by camping throughout the western United States, but their favorite place to camp, maybe their favorite place anywhere, was close to home at Ohanapecosh in Mount Rainier National Park. As extensive as his involvement was in the community, Doug was even more dedicated to his family. Doug and Marj’s marriage was a true partnership. Their natural gifts complimented each other and formed a strong, faithful bond. They were present for every major event, birthday, graduation, and performance of their children and grandchildren. He especially loved attending their sporting events. His warmth made them feel important and embraced. His frequent phone calls and letters were an early form of curated news for his children. It meant he was constantly thinking of them, and reaching out to share his boundless interests, and theirs. His open and generous heart is a gift they will carry and pass on to their children. Through his enthusiasm and love, he taught them that the world is a place full of wonder and possibilities. Doug is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Ruth Peters and his son, Roderick Peters.
He is survived by his wife, Marj Peters, his children Heather (Dick) Magruder, Sally (Rob) Gray, and Dan (Amy) Peters, and his grandchildren, Carly, Lauren, Mary, Ella, and Whit. A family memorial is planned for November in Neskowin, Oregon.
Those wishing to honor Doug’s life are encouraged to make donations to the Yakima Symphony, the Yakima Greenway Foundation or the Yakima Area Arboretum.
Doug fulfilled almost all of his dreams in life. He had a career he believed in, and a large family that loved him. There were only two things left on his list. The first was to pitch for the Yankees. His family believes that the fact that he passed on the anniversary of Don Larsen’s perfect game checks that box. His final wish was that he could vote in the upcoming election. One of his proudest moments was meeting Congressman John Lewis in the U. S. Capitol. If you want to honor his memory, his family encourages you to register and vote this and every year.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
DOUGLAS D. PETERS
October 20, 2020
Marj and family:
Doug was one of the finest lawyers and Christians I've ever had the pleasure to know. He had a heart for justice. He took the most difficult cases where deserving people were denied justice, and found justice for them. Along the way, those he secured justice for became better people. And so did those he worked with, including me.
Mike and Beverly Howell Whipple
October 19, 2020
Doug and Marj shared the Selah neighborhood with us. Although our meetings were infrequent, we always left feeling better. We traded stories about travel (especially Nova Scotia), kids, grandkids, and Yakima area history. Marj and family you are in our thoughts.
October 19, 2020
So sad to hear of Doug's passing... He was TRULY a GENTLE MAN. My love to all of you at this very sad time... Jean Lemke
October 19, 2020
Dearest Marj and family;
My heart is broken over the loss of Doug. I am so blessed to have been able to call him a friend and wonderful supporter. My life is so much richer for having known him, and this world is so much better because of the wonderful, beautiful, and loving man that he was. Know you are in my prayers and heart.
October 19, 2020
Saw this quote recently-
“Growing separately doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.” - Ally Condie
And our family roots tangle deeply... Marj and Doug were my mom and dads best friends, and like my second parents. So many of my childhood and teen years memories have the Peters family in them, and for the last 35 years we've been blessed to be neighbors too. I always loved how Doug would ask questions and really listen to my answer. We will miss him greatly, and all our love goes out to Heather and Sal and Dan and families, and mostly to dear Marj.. we are praying for you all.❤️
October 13, 2020
As Steve Milner noted in his remembrance, sitting with Doug at Commission meetings and at the dinner table with Marj were special times. Linda and I always enjoyed our times with Doug and Marj. He was thoughtful during Commission discussions and always respectful of staff and the public. I always learned something from Doug. The bonus was having Marj around during our more informal times. Doug was a wonderful human being who clearly loved life and his family. The best to Marj and Doug's family.
Ken Bounds and Linda Gorton
October 13, 2020
Doug was a great parks Commissioner. I loved sitting at dinners with him and Marj and discussing the Mariners! Park visits were always fun and I have chosen a picture of one of our visits.
Steve and Jill Milner
October 12, 2020
We cherish the wonderful memories of time spent together as members of the Washington State Parks commission family. We'll always remember Doug as a kind, wonderful man driven by a love of family, justice and nature. We are so very sorry for your loss Marj. Our prayer for you is that you may retain all the fine memories of life together as a source of loving support in the future. We've enclosed a photo of Doug surrounded by fellow commissioners and friends: (left to right) Ken Bounds, Mark Brown, Roger Schmitt, Pat Lantz, Cindy Whaley and Steve Milner taken at Field Springs state park.
Jill and Steve Milner