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January 24, 2022
It is with sadness that Jason Peter, and Matthew Peter announce the death of their mom, Leona, on 24 January 2022 at her home in Courtenay, BC.
Survived by her sons, daughter-in-law Chesa Peter and beautiful granddaughter, Juniper Louise Peter. She was predeceased by her husband, Dick, on 8 March 2007.
Leona was the third daughter of Bud and Vivian Booth of Vulcan, AB.
Predeceased by her parents and sisters, Marion, and Grace; survived by her brother, Ken.
Growing up on a little farm in southern Alberta was perfect, they were "free range" kids and hadall kinds of learning adventures. They developed a stewardship of the land and love of the animals.
Leona attended U of Calgary and taught in the village of Lomond, where her grandfather, Harvey Booth, homesteaded. She also taught in Calgary.
At the U of C Summer School in 1965, she met Richard (Dick) Peter, a rancher's son from the Cypress Hills. They were married on 27 December 1965, and she joined him in Seattle, WN where he was in Graduate School at U of Washington. Leona completed a BA in 1968 and Dick a PhD in Zoology in 1969.
Then off to England where Dick did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Bristol. They returned to U of Alberta and Dick began a professorship in Biological Sciences in 1971.
This was the beginning of a wonderful partnership! Dick was an outstanding scientist as well as an amazing administrator. The lab flourished as it attracted excellent grad students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists from all over the world.
Leona was an educator/social worker and loved sharing our home with our amazing "Science" family. Dick was a mentor as well to student and colleagues. Jason was born in 1971 and Matthew in 1973 and were also a big part of the science family.
Dick was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1985. He was also recipient of a number of awards including the E.W. Steacie Memorial Fellowship in 1980-81, the Grace Pickford Medal in 1985, the Fry Medal from the Canadian Society of Zoologists in 2006, the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Award in 1998. He delivered the first R. E. Peter Lecture at the 5th International Symposium on Fish Endocrinology in Castellon Spain in 2004.
Dick was Chair of Zoology for 8 years and then Dean of Science for 10 years, while still providing support and scientific leadership for the lab.
During this time Leona worked full time, 5 years in crisis intervention and suicide prevention and then she was hired into AADAC Community Education Services. She was fortunate to work in a number of areas within AADAC, most of which had a connection with youth and a focus on prevention.
She was involved in peer support, peer education, writing curriculum, training teachers, nurses, physicians, and counselors. She also taught for a year in the school program at the Adolescent Treatment Centre. She enjoyed spending 6 months heading up to the Drayton Valley Office. Ironically, her last job before retirement was as a Funded Agency Consultant for Southern Alberta. She was back to the farming area where she started her life!
Dick wrapped up the research lab in June of 2006 and he and Leona prepared to move to Bamfield, BC where he would take over as Director of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. BMSC was always very important to Dick as it allowed students and researchers to work and learn in a marine environment. They planned to retire on Vancouver Island and looked forward new adventures.
This was not to happen as Dick died very suddenly on 8 March 2007. It was a nightmare for the family. With help from family, friends and colleagues, Jason, Matt, and Leona picked themselves up and carried on. Leona decided to stay on the Island and began "house shopping". She found the perfect house in Courtenay with and acre of garden, trees, a pond, and very helpful neighbours.
Leona was able to continue with her travels, golf, hike, garden, curl, and snowshoe on Mt. Washington. She began paddling with "Hope Afloat", a cancer survivors' dragonboat team and loved it. Most unusual for someone afraid of the ocean!
Leona had no regrets, except Dick's early death. They shared an amazing marriage/partnership with joy, respect, love, and fun.
Amo la Vida
Love Life

"A quick note...... We decided to get married after knowing each other for 6 weeks! We didn't tell our sons this until our 40th anniversary party!"
Memorial Donations may be made to The Richard E. (Dick) Peter Memorial Graduate Student Scholarship, Faculty of Science through the University of Alberta; The Dick and Leona Peter Student Bursary, Bamfield Marine Science Centre at; or Hope Afloat Dragonboat Team at

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