Memorable Manitobans: Peter Jacob “Potato Pete” Peters (1914-2012)
Born at Krasnovka, Ukraine on 21 April 1914, son of Jacob and Helen Peters, he came to Canada with his family in 1925 and settled at Morris. They later moved to Gretna where he attended the Mennonite Collegiate Institute. After attending Normal School, he received a teaching certificate in the mid-1930s. He taught at Halbstadt School (?-?) and Sommerfeld School (1941-1942) then was a sawyer in British Columbia. In 1943, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served as a wireless mechanic until the end of the Second World War. He battled tuberculosis from 1946 to 1951 and endured lengthy periods of hospitalization.
After attending the University of Manitoba, he graduated in 1954 and received the Gold Medal in Agriculture. He then embarked on a career with the Manitoba Department of Agriculture where among his accomplishments he worked actively with vegetable growers, developed the U-pick industry for strawberries, and helped to revitalize the Prairie Garden publication. He was active with the Manitoba Horticultural Association, serving as its Secretary-Treasurer (1966-1978), and Chair of The Prairie Garden Committee (1970-1980). After retirement in 1979, he wrote the book A Century of Horticulture in Manitoba, 1880-1980 in 1988.
On 15 November 1941, he married Bertha Ammeter (1913-2000) at Starbuck and they had two children. In recognition of his community service, he was made an honorary life member of the Vegetable Growers’ Association of Manitoba (1972) and inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame (2009).
He died at Winnipeg on 6 June 2012 and was buried in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens.
Obituary [Bertha Peters], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 February 2000.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 June 2012.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 17 September 2021