Allen “Pete” Peters was born September 24, 1928 in Long Beach, California, to Allen Sr. and Margaret Murphy Peters. Pete’s father was a career Navy chief petty officer who retired after 20 years active duty.
After a devasting earthquake in Long Beach, the Peters family returned to Portland. Pete attended school in Portland, but joined the Navy before graduation. After his discharge from the Navy in 1948, Pete enrolled at Vanport College. Once again his studies were interrupted when he was recalled to active duty in 1950 for the Korean War.
Pete was released from active duty in December 1951. He then resumed his studies in the School of Journalism at the University of Oregon, finally graduating in 1954. In 1959, Pete married Jean McLeod, a faculty member in the Foods and Nutrition Department at Oregon State University. Jean was a Canadian so the wedding was held in Vancouver, B.C. Pete and Jean have two children—daughter Kathy, born July 1, 1960 and son Steve, born July 2, 1963—and several grandchildren.
Pete went to work for the Corvallis Gazette-Times in advertising sales and moved up in rank as retail advertising manager, advertising director, general manager, assistant to the publisher, and director of marketing before opting to take early retirement in 1985.
Throughout his newspaper career and beyond, Pete enjoyed involvement in many professional, service, and community organizations and projects. In addition to his professional affiliations in newspaper journalism, advertising, and marketing, he engaged in many civic projects. He served as President of the Rotary Club of Corvallis in 1982-1983. He joined the BCF Board of directors in 1988 and served the foundation well in that capacity for six years. He also enjoyed membership in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Corvallis Elks, Corvallis Country Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Corvallis Jaycees.
Jean McLeod Peters was born in Vancouver, B.C., on July 3, 1928, to Neil McLeod, a retired sea captain from Edinburgh, Scotland, and Catherine Sands McLeod. Jean graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1950 with a major in nutrition and completed a dietetic internship at the Vancouver General Hospital. She later did graduate studies at Michigan State University and completed them at Oregon State University.
Jean worked as a dietitian for several hospitals in western Canada and as a messing officer (dietitian) with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She also served as an officer in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. She was on the faculty of the University of British Columbia before coming to OSU in 1958. She retired as associate dean of the College of Home Economics and Education in 1991.
During her tenure at OSU, Jean was awarded the OSU Elizabeth Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award in 1981. In 1989 she was voted the Westley Teacher/Counselor of the Year for the College of Home Economics. She was named Home Economist of the Year by the Oregon Home Economics Association in 1991, and also received the OSU Home Economics Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award. In 1991, she was honored with a classroom named for her in the OSU Bates Family Study Center.
Over the years, Jean’s activities have represented a wide range of professional interests and community endeavors. She was past president of the Oregon Home Economics Association and the British Columbia Dietetic Association. She was also active in several national professional associations. She was named to Sigma Xi (research,) Omicron Nu (home economics) and Blue Key (scholastic) honoraries. A past president of Altrusa International of Corvallis, Jean also chaired the board of the Cascade West Senior Services Foundation.
She was president of both the Association of Retired Oregon State Employees and of the Oregon State Retirement Association. She was named Corvallis Senior First Citizen in 1996. Jean and Pete felt strongly about returning something to the community in which they lived and worked through many volunteer projects, which led them to establish a fund with The Benton County Foundation.
The Allen R. & Jean H. Peters Family Fund awards annual scholarships to Oregon State University student studying in the College of Health and Human Sciences.