Doug J.J. Peters, veteran and former Maryland state senator, dies at 60

Doug J.J. Peters, veteran and former Maryland state senator, dies at 60

Doug J.J. Peters, a U.S. Army Reserve veteran and former Maryland Senate majority leader from Prince George’s County, died Dec. 30 at the age of 60.

The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, his family announced in a statement describing him as “unfailingly dedicated to his family, to his church, and to his community.”

“We, his family, are utterly bereft,” the statement said. “We take some measure of solace in knowing the tremendous impact he had on Bowie, Prince George’s County, and the State of Maryland.”

Mr. Peters, a Democrat who left office in July 2021 to join the University of Maryland’s Board of Regents, was remembered by former colleagues as a dedicated, driven leader with a good sense of humor.

“Doug was a dedicated public servant, decorated veteran, and loving father and husband,” Senate President Bill Ferguson, a Democrat representing Baltimore City, said in a statement. “He represented the best of Marylanders. It was an honor to serve alongside him for over a decade in the Maryland Senate.”

The two had just discussed Mr. Peters’s hopes to erect a monument in Annapolis to the Maryland 400, Mr. Ferguson said, in honor of soldiers who served with distinction during the American Revolution. Mr. Peters, who was a captain in the Army Reserve from 1988 to 1998, was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his service in Operation Desert Storm.

He was elected to the Bowie City Council in 1998, then the Prince George’s County Council before joining the state Senate in 2007 as the representative from District 23. He was chairman of Metropolitan Archives, a small business that specializes in storage, scanning and destruction of documents, and held degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore, his official biography states.

In the legislature, he played a critical role in the making of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Prince George’s County, funded projects at Bowie State University and the city of Bowie, and ushered in state aid to the county, Maryland Matters reported when he left office.

In an interview with the outlet about his departure, Mr. Peters said he felt good about his accomplishments and was excited about the future. “No matter where I served, I only sought to help people,” he said.

State Sen. Nancy J. King, a Democrat representing Montgomery, said in an interview that she was “heartbroken” about losing a friend of decades.

“You have lots of acquaintances in Annapolis, but you can count your really close friends on a hand or two,” she said. “He was one of the people I trusted most.”

Ms. King said she had spoken to Peters about three weeks ago, adding that he sounded optimistic about his medical path and like the jokester who would dress up in silly hats and outfits to make her laugh. Mr. Peters’s dry, witty humor she adored left her feeling hopeful that he was getting better.

“He sounded like old Doug again,” she said.

Ms. King and Mr. Peters relied on each other for guidance and to get things done, she recalled. If he called her up passionate about an issue, she would listen. If she needed advice, he’d give “a straight answer,” she said.

In addition to his humor and dedication to service, Mr. Peters had strong faith and was devoted to his family, Ms. King said.

“He was a good, Christian man,” she said.

He is survived by his wife, Corinne Peters, his six children and three grandchildren.

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