Captain William (Bill) Jasper Peters III, age 75, USNR (Retired) joined his Lord and Savior at 8:50PM, June 24, 2009. Since his marriage in 2007, Bill had lived with his wife, Mary Sue Newsome in Pulaski, Va. The earthly cause of Bill’s passing was lung disease, which had caused him to reside in the Pulaski Community Hospital intermittently for the last six months.
Born in Bluefield, W. Va., Bill traveled and lived in various locations with his parents before settling in his mother’s south-western Virginia town of Richlands where he attended Richlands High School and graduated in 1952. He next attended the University of Richmond for 2 years before entering the United States Naval Academy where he graduated in 1958 with a degree in General Engineering.
Upon graduation, Bill was commissioned as an Ensign USN, married Carolyn Holmes of Alexandria, VA and deployed aboard a Norfolk based Navy supply ship. He was accepted into the submarine program and transferred to New London, CT to undergo training. After submarine school, Bill was assigned to the USS Carp. Serving three years of active duty on The Carp in which he held several progressively responsible positions, Bill shifted to the Naval Reserve to pursue a civilian career working on and with the Submarine Navy.
Back in civilian life, Bill accepted a position as an engineer specializing in submarine navigation with the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) of The Johns Hopkins University. He remained in the employ of APL for the next 36 years, pursuing a myriad of different submarine related projects. Evaluation of the navigation subsystem of the Polaris Submarine fleet was his first assignment. His efforts here were rewarded by his appointment as the project supervisor. Wearing a double hat as supervisor, Bill also became the project manager for LONARS (LOran NAvigation Receiving System), a task that Bill dearly loved and enjoyed. LONARS enabled the Loran C Navigation system, state of the art signal processing, and improved navigation accuracy by a factor of five. Thus enabling Naval ships to more precisely know their position and enabling civilian vessels to better perform many under-seas charting functions.
The second half of Bill’s career at APL centered on an evolving series of submarine ballistic weapon system – evaluation program management assignments, starting with the Polaris and Poseidon systems and culminating with the overall direction of the APL Trident I and Trident II evaluation programs. Linked with this latter effort was another of Bill’s fun jobs, a job that he truly enjoyed. That was the management of the United Kingdom Polaris and Trident II DASO (Demonstration And Shakedown Operations) tests and evaluation efforts. These operations take place at Cape Canaveral, FL and in limited scope in the waters off the United Kingdom. Based on verifying that each submarine is ready in all aspects to deploy on an operational patrol, Bill thoroughly enjoyed working with the officers and men of the British Navy and applying lessons learned on the US systems to similar but different systems that were built in the United Kingdom.
During his early days at APL, Bill managed to make time available while working, traveling and raising his family to acquire a Masters Degree in Numerical Science from The Johns Hopkins University. Based on his performance at APL, he was recognized by The Johns Hopkins University as a member of APL’s Principal Staff, which is the equivalent of being an Associate or Full professor on the University staff. While pursuing his career in the Naval Reserves, Bill progressed upwards, retiring in 1988 as a Captain.
Throughout his career, Bill was known as a hard working, conscious, persistent worker and supervisor with a fair and gracious attitude towards peers and subordinates. Throughout his life, he was known as a person with a warm heart and a man of his word.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Mary Sue Newsome-Peters, of Pulaski, Va.
Bill was predeceased by his first wife, Carolyn, and is survived his daughter Virginia Tadvick of Mooresville, NC, her husband Gary and their children Jonathan and Elizabeth; his step daughter Susan Lundy and her husband, Kenny of Pulaski, VA ,their daughter Tara and husband Jason Batten and two Great grandchildren, Conner and Zach Batten; his step son, Brooks Newsome and his wife Alyson of Fairhope, AL and their children Jacob and Blayne.
Visitation will be be held at Thomas M. Seagle & Sons Funeral Home in Pulaski from 6:00 -8:00 pm Saturday, June 27, 2009. Funeral Services will be held at First United Methodist Church on Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. with the Reverend Hugh Kilgore officiating. Reception at the church Family Life Center to follow. Final Burial services will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory to the First United Methodist Church Missions Fund. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.seaglefuneralhome.com Arrangements by Thomas M. Seagle & Sons, Pulaski.