Gary Lee Peters

Date of Birth

June 6, 1946

Date of Death

December 24, 2015

Gary Lee Peters, age 69, succumbed to cancer this past Christmas Eve at his home in Neskowin, Oregon, on the Pacific Coast. Up until the very end, Gary retained his wit, his equanimity, and even his business acumen. Born in Spokane, Washington, on June 6, 1946, Gary was a gentle, funny, and ever-observant man who loved using his cameras to preserve simple but timeless moments of daily life. Nature, beauty, art, animal life, relationships, and human creativity were all sources of wonder and joy for him. His cameras were an extension of his own eyes; his ability to express humanist values through captured images touched and influenced all those exposed, but, of course, especially his family and friends.

Before moving back to his native Pacific Northwest, Gary and his wife, Eva Sharlene, spent twenty years in Santa Barbara, where they shared their home generously with friends and where Gary served as a real estate broker. Their Santa Barbara legacy includes the two beautiful houses they built on Hot Springs Road, and several new business enterprises, including the Pacific Grill on Santa Claus Lane and the Santa Ynez Nursery. It also includes the founding of the William T. Colville Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supporting nascent fine artists.

While living in Santa Barbara, Gary met Bill Colville, a native of Montecito and a fine watercolorist. The two shared values and a silly sense of humor; they grew close enough to develop a surrogate father-son relationship, something Gary, who had grown up fatherless, sought and cherished.

In addition to his beloved wife, Gary has left behind his daughter, Rachel Peters Bleck (Brad), of Spokane, Washington; his son, Hayden Peters, of Pacific City, Oregon; his grandson Tobias Bleck, of Spokane, Washington. Gary was so intensely proud of his children that his eyes would fill with tears speaking of them. His family and friends will grieve his untimely death as long as memory serves, and the world will be poorer for the loss of one who cared so much.


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