Donald W. Peters, age 92, of Westerville, passed away Saturday, February 27th, 2021.
Born March 14th, 1928 in Columbus, Ohio to the late Henry Peters and Jessie (Wilson) Peters. Don was the youngest of 3 children and was fascinated with aviation at a very young age after accompanying his father to an air show at the newly constructed Port Columbus Airport. Don watched through the fence as SB2C Dive Bombers rolled off the assembly line at The Curtis-Wright Factory on Fifth Ave during World War II. At the same time he began flight training at the old Norton Field airport in Whitehall. He graduated Columbus North High School in 1946 after spending several years at The Greenbrier Military Academy in West Virginia. He got a job with The Piper Aircraft Company delivering new Piper Cub aircraft from the factory in Lockhaven, PA to buyers around the country. In 1948 he joined The United States Air Force and graduated from pilot training in San Angelo, TX in 1949 as a member of Cadet Class 49-C.
He was assigned to The Military Air Transport Command (MATS) and flew aircraft around the world including over the Pacific Ocean during the Korean Conflict. While based at Hickam Field, Honolulu, Hawaii he met Miss Nancy Boles of Bend, Oregon. They were married in Honolulu on June 14th, 1953. Later in 1953, Don was hired by Trans World Airlines (TWA) and assigned to a base in Detroit, Michigan flying DC-3s. In 1955 he starting flying international routes for TWA in the Lockheed Constellation and in 1956 he and Nancy lived in Cairo, Egypt on assignment. During the Suez Crisis they were evacuated by The United States Navy and returned to the United States, now assigned to the New York domicile.
Don continued to fly for TWA for 34 years as Captain of 707, 727, L1011 aircraft and finishing his career on the Boeing 747. In 1975 the couple had moved back to Ohio and settled in Westerville with their two sons David and Alan.
After retiring from TWA in 1988, Don was retained by The Limited as a pilot on their corporate aircraft and flew with them until 1995. He flew restored WW II Bombers for the Commemorative Air Force at Air Shows around the country. He stayed active in aviation affairs locally at both Port Columbus and Don Scott Field. He rebuilt a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub which he flew for several years before hanging up his wings and donating it to The Ohio State University. It now hangs in the rotunda of newly constructed terminal at OSU airport. He was a member of the Old Buzzards Club of Westerville, EAA Chapter 9, The Quiet Birdmen, Professional Pilots Association and of First Church of Christian Science in Clintonville.
He is survived by his sons David A. Peters of Columbus; Alan W. and Molly Peters of Blacklick; grandchildren Ethan P. Peters of Columbus; Mahala M. Peters of Blacklick; nieces and nephews. The family would also like to acknowledge the friendship of personal assistant Rene Harrington.
Donations in memory of Don can be made to The Ohio Air and Space Hall of Fame and Museum. www.ohioairandspace.org
A celebration of life will be planned at a later date.