William "Bill" J. Peters II
WILLIAM &Quot;BILL&Quot; J. PETERS II Cedar Rapids William "Bill" J. Peters II, 82, died Monday, March 26, 2018, at St. Luke's Hospice Inpatient Unit in Cedar Rapids. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Concordia Lutheran Church, 4210 Johnson Ave. NW, Cedar Rapids, with the Rev. Brad Brown officiating. Interment will be in St. Stephen's Lutheran Cemetery near Atkins. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday at Concordia Lutheran Church and continue one hour prior to service time at the church on Tuesday. Memorials may be directed to Concordia Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be left at www.phillipsfuneralhomes.com. Bill was born on Nov. 22, 1935, in Cicero, Ill., the son of William and Ann Peters. He graduated high school from Luther High in Chicago. His post-high school education included a bachelor's degree in geography and elementary education from Valparaiso University and a master's degree in education administration from the University of Iowa. While at Valpo he spotted a striking redhead and in 1961 married Sharon Keiper. She introduced him to life in Iowa and he enjoyed helping out on her parents' farm. Their daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1965 followed by William in 1969. Bill loved being a dad and encouraged his kids in pursuing music, art and sports, coaching their softball and baseball teams through several seasons. Bill loved to work and after gaining experience in a diverse series of jobs, including one on an oil rig in Idaho, he landed on teaching and decided he was pretty good at it. His teaching career in Cedar Rapids began at Cleveland Elementary School, where his principal wisely gave him freedom. He soon discovered his passion and developed his unconventional style of instilling a love of learning in kids. Throwing "Dick and Jane" books out the window, he focused on how to think, how to ask questions and how to navigate the world with confidence. His 38 years in the Cedar Rapids school system included time at Eisenhower, Arthur and Taft teaching sixth and seventh grade. A suggestion during a parent-teacher conference led to his first RAGBRAI in 1988 and for the next 27 years he participated in the ride across Iowa. His love of cycling had humble beginnings. It started with a cheap three-speed bike and a three-mile course around the neighborhood (including a part on gravel) that he rode several times a week. It turned into 10,000 miles a year on a Cannondale, a Kestrel and a Cervelo. Along with the 28 RAGBRAIs, he Rode the Rockies three times and cycled TOMRV 11. His faith in God was encouraged and strengthened by the Lutheran church, which provided the framework for his life. He was committed to the mission of Concordia Lutheran Church and served as trustee, elder and finally president of the congregation. He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Ann (Kuschnereit) Peters; sister, Elly Pahr; brother-in-law, Joe Pahr; and niece, Kristy Matranga. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; daughter, Jennifer (Jackie Mollet); son, Will (Crystal); sister, Carol (George) Matranga; grandchildren Joe, Ella and Sam; nephews, Joe Pahr and Tim (Laura) Matranga; nieces, Liz Pahr (Juan Barela), Martha (Kevin) Keefe and Nancy (Alex) Dorame; great-nephew, Christopher Pahr; and great-nieces, Samantha Pahr and Barette Keefe. Phillips Funeral Home, Vinton, is in charge of arrangements.