Edmond Harvey “Ed” Peters, 89, former personal trainer with a passion for fitness and helping others

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Edmond Harvey "Ed" Peters
Edmond Harvey “Ed” Peters

WILMINGTON — Edmond Harvey Peters, 89, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center surrounded by the love of his family.

He was born at home in Mantua, Ohio, Dec. 15, 1926, the son of Harley Cameron Peters and Nettie (Parker) Peters. He excelled in school, graduating from Kenmore High School, Akron, Ohio, at age 16. He was an alumnus of Akron University, where he majored in English.

Ed served honorably in the U.S. Army as a platoon sergeant, receiving a World War II Victory Medal and an Army Occupation Medal. He was stationed for eight months in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he served on ski patrol at the border between Austria and Germany. He would later return to this region to reflect on his experiences there.

Ed retired from Rimes Trucking Company, Chardon, Ohio, in 1988 after 27 years of service and moved to Wilmington, fulfilling a lifetime dream to live near the ocean. Here, he embarked on a second career as a personal trainer for the Wilmington Family YMCA, a position he was asked to fill by Y administration. It was another dream-come-true for Ed, considering his passion for fitness and for helping others. He forged many valuable, lifelong friendships there and found his work to be meaningful, fun and fulfilling. A true source of inspiration to others, Ed gained respect and admiration from all he served. Ed retired from the Y in April at age 89 with 23 years of service.

Ed was a “kid-at-heart” with an untamed spirit. He loved life and was driven to learn and excel at anything he set his mind and heart to doing. He was a writer, artist, teacher, coach and dancer.

As an avid athlete, Ed challenged and pushed himself to the limit in every sport he pursued. He played softball, tennis and golf. He skied, swam and biked. But his greatest passion was competitive running, a sport he did not take up until age 60. Ed ran many marathons, qualifying and running the Boston Marathon three times. He received awards for running events in the local Senior Games in Wilmington and the State Senior Games in Raleigh, N.C., as well as many local running and triathlon competitions.

Ed is survived by Faun, his beloved and devoted wife of 43 years. Their marriage was one built on unwavering love, friendship, companionship, support and humor. They did everything together, whether it was running a marathon, training for a triathlon, biking up a mountain, taking a French class, traveling across the United States, ballroom and shag dancing, cheering on the Cleveland Indians or the Carolina Panthers, walking the beach, enjoying his favorite home-cooked meal of spaghetti with pecan pie dessert, or reading next to each other. They admired each other and celebrated each other’s successes in life. They were there for each other with care and compassion in the best of times and in the most difficult of times.

Ed is also survived by his children, who loved him with all their heart, were inspired by him and were so proud to call him dad, including Terry (David) Miller, Roaming Shores, Ohio; Sharon (Steve) Gruskiewicz, Orwell, Ohio; Kelly (Ken) Skorepa, Concord, Ohio; and Michael (Kathy) Wolcott, Ann Arbor, Mich.; his sister, Geraldine Rankins, Athens, Ohio; 17 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He leaves all of his family with a precious legacy of how to live life to its fullest, with passion, perseverance and love.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his former wife, Mary Ann Peters, to whom he was married for 16 years; his half-sister, Phyllis Gedeon; and his Uncle Chuck and Aunt Marion Rudney.

The family will receive friends at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, for visitation at the Wilmington Funeral Chapel. A memorial service will follow at 3 p.m. A memorial service with military honors will also be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan 7, at the Painesville Church of the Nazarene, 6235 Chestnut St., Painesville, Ohio. Plans are for his remains to be placed in Arlington National Cemetery in honor of service to his country.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions made to the Wilmington Family YMCA in Ed’s honor would be greatly appreciated.