Clarence “Pete” Peets, or “Poppie as he was called by his grandchildren, age 84, passed away on Monday March 4 at the Mercy Living Center of pneumonia.
Clarence was born on July 11, 1934 in Tupper Lake to Henry “Tommy” Peets and Rena (Papin) Peets.
Clarence first worked at the Tupper Lake Golf Club, then he went to Drapers where he worked until he was drafted into the Army.
He obtained the rank of PFC and was a part of the 88th Transport Company in which he drove Truck #60 stationed in Schweinfort, Germany from 1957 – 1959.
He returned to his job at Drapers after his service and became a sawyer there. The saw carriage he used is now located at the Blue Mountain Museum.
He remained at Drapers for many years until he started “Peets Construction” in the mid 70’s.
In the mid 80’s he returned to Drapers and stayed there through its sale to Rockwell Corporation and Elliot Hardwood. Afterwards, he became a caretaker at the Bartlett Carry Club where he and his dog Elliot worked for many years. Of all the jobs he had he enjoyed the Bartlett Carry Club the most.
Clarence met his wife, Rita (Perth) Peets, at Johnny’s Candy Land, a soda fountain in downtown Tupper Lake. They were married July 14, 1956 at the Holy Name Church. They lived at 23 Emma Street until Clarence was shipped to Germany where he lived on base until Rita joined him. They moved off base and lived in Miabach, a small town which had three cars, one owned by Clarence and Rita, a second owned by Ham and Pat Ferry, and the family doesn't know who owned the third.
Their son, Michael, was born in Germany. When they returned to Tupper Lake they had two more children, Patricia (Phillips) and Alan. The family home on 102 McLaughlin was originally half of a basket factory that was moved to that location where Clarence dug out the basement by hand, hitting hard pan when he got down two feet, the result being that his sons had to place their heads between the floor joists because he only went deep enough for his head to clear.
Clarence enjoyed hunting, fishing, ice fishing, snowmobiling and spending time at camp on the Raquette River in Piercefield.
He was also very active in the Knights of Columbus for many years, holding various positions. He was named Knight of the year in 1988. He was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus and attended national conferences held in the Catskills. He helped construct the current Knights of Columbus hall, and helped with many of the events held there such as holiday meals and the Woodsmen's Field Day banquets.
Clarence is survived by his wife Rita, brother Ben, sisters Barbara “June” (Peets) Charland and Nancy (Peets) Wituszynski, brother Roger, son Mike and his wife Gwen, daughter Patricia Phillips, son Alan and his wife Temple. He also has four grandchildren: Griffin Peets, Danielle (Peets) Robinson, Erin Phillips and Lauren Phillips, and one great grandchild, Jolie Robinson.
Calling hours and services were held Thursday, March 7 at the Stuart-Fortune-Keough funeral home.
Anyone wishing to remember Clarence may make memorial donations to Council #2177 Knights of Columbus, 36 High Street, Tupper Lake, NY 12986.