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Fritz E. Peters passed away peacefully in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 1, 2022, at the age of 85. He was born December 18, 1936, in Waco, Texas to Royce and Frieda Peters. He was one of seven children: Ida Mae, Willie (Billy), John, Charles, Patricia, and Joe. He was married to Estelle Peters for 45 years. Their blended family included six boys and one girl: Fritz Jr. (Buddy), David, Mark, Lori (R.I.P), Charlie, Michael and Andrew.

He joined the USMC in 1952 at the ripe old age of 16 (it was either that or prison more than likely). The Marine Corps. changed his life. After 10 years with the USMC, he settled down in San Clemente. For a little over decade, he worked 3 plus jobs. He provided security on a golf course, worked in several different gas stations, and worked as a reserve for the San Clemente Police Department. However, his largest contribution was to the city of San Clemente as a member of the city street Maintenance Department. He retired from the city after 35 years and eventually relocated to Greers Ferry, Arkansas with Estelle.

He was well known throughout the city. The man that looked like Santa in a cowboy hat. He and his street maintenance crew were hard to miss. The city may never see a work crew quite like his again. They were a close group that I’d venture to say did a lot more than maintain the streets from potholes. In the early 80’s a strong storm pounded the city. Tearing out a portion of the pier and washing large swaths of the beach out to sea. Residential bluffs gave away and roadways flooded to such a degree that many resident’s houses were at risk of disaster. He and his crew went to work. It was an epic tussle with mother nature that required a team effort from every city employee. It wasn’t always hard work of course. So many funny stories with that group. Blowing holes in the pier while lighting 4th of July fireworks (long before professionals took over), dancing in a ballet tutu at a city holiday party, playing flag (tackle) football with the police department, and corralling rattlesnakes hidden in new residential attics. There was very little he wouldn’t have done for the city that had welcomed him with open arms when he left the Marine Corps.

Fritz was a truly unique part of the San Clemente landscape for many decades. He was respected and loved by many. He is survived by his beautiful wife Estelle, his little sister Patricia, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the many non-blood related family members that affectionately knew him as either “Uncle Fritz” or “Papa.” Rest in peace old man, we love you!

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