Obituary of Lee Gordon Peters


Dr. Lee Gordon Peters left us on Sunday, August 9, 2020, at his home near Southport, NC. Born on April, 23, 1944, he graduated High School in Morris, New York, attended SUNY Oneonta as an undergraduate, and achieved his Doctoral degree in Education at the University of Massachusetts. For 49 years, he was married to and was then predeceased by our mother, Dorothy Peters (Dickerson) in 2013. Dad was an educational leader all of his life in multiple Northeastern states. Having established and grown the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES in Syracuse, NY from the ground up, Dad became the most senior District Superintendent in the history of NY State Education by the time he retired, influencing and hiring a large majority of the educational leaders who would impact millions of students and hundreds of thousands of educators in NY and beyond over the 28 years in his seat. A public figure for most of his career, he led work in the late 80s and early 90s under the NY Governor’s commission to drive school improvement across NY State and also acted as special advisor to Italy’s Education Ministry. He was a consummate professional, reluctant politician, and, in particular, a champion and advocate of NY students and educators. A 2-sport college athlete and captain of most formal and informal teams no matter where he played, he was driven to create positive change and successful results. Quitting was not in his vocabulary as a professional or a person. He sat on numerous influential organization’s Boards and his passion to win was equally as apparent in the Boardroom as it was on the golf course, baseball diamond, or basketball, paddle ball or bocce court. As a rule, he was a lover and proponent of competitive sports due to his doctoral research and belief in the power of sports to build teamwork skills and social development in children. He was a raving fan of the NY Yankees and Syracuse Orangemen. Dad was a quick thinker, grand storyteller, generous friend, community leader, and stalwart family man. He loved to travel and made friends in new countries, on cruise ships, at casino tables, and in local pubs anywhere a game was on TV. He loved his children and grand-children most of all. He is survived by his sister, Donna Robinson and brother, Jerry (Kathleen) Peters-Durrigan; partner, Christine Brando; his children, Jill (Ted) Russell and Lee (Shannon) Peters II; and, his grand-children, Gavin Peters, Bryson Russell, and Avery Russell. Services will be held via Facebook Live on Monday, August 17, 2020 at 2 PM EDT (About 5-10 minutes prior, go to: and click the “Like” button on the page to see the service). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the American Cancer Society ( or The Children’s Miracle Network ( Online condolences may be made at Peacock – Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.

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