Robert E. St. Peters

Alton | Tuesday, February 8 2011

Robert E. St. Peters, 87, died at 2:36 p.m. Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at Alton Memorial Hospital. 

Robert was born on September 20, 1923 at St. Joseph Hospital in Alton, exactly one year to the day after his brother, Leonard O. St. Peters, was born.  The son of Helen V. (Boercker) St. Peters and Leonard A. St. Peters, he attended SS Peter and Paul School and Marquette High School.  After graduation, he enlisted in the Navy where he was assigned to the USS Franklin in Norfolk, VA.  Much has been written about the history of this famous aircraft carrier during its service in WWII.  Bob eventually authored two books about the USS Franklin.  After the war, he attended St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, PA for one year and worked at General Electric in Philadelphia.  He met and married Helen Loretta Lowrey on June 12, 1948 in Philadelphia where his son, Robert B. and his daughter, Helen E. were born.  The family moved back to Alton where Bob worked at McDonnell Douglas for about 25 years.  His twin daughters, Joan Marie and Janice Marie, born in Alton.  Bob had a long history of service to historical preservation in Alton.  He was one of the founders of Alton Area Landmarks Association and was its president for about 30 years.  He worked tirelessly to save the Alton riverfront and the site of the Lincoln-Douglas debate.  He was recognized with the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, and a day was dedicated by the city of Alton as the Robert E. St. Peters Day for his community efforts.  He was also president of the Legion of Mary for many years at Cathedral, his parish.  Because of his interest in music, he learned to play the Hawaiian guitar as a teenager and later in life, became involved in music at Lewis and Clark, participating in concerts and programs for local nursing homes.  As a survivor on the USS Franklin, he attended yearly USS Franklin reunions, and his dedication to his crewmates and his ship never wavered.  He served for many years as the president of the USS Franklin Museum Association. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, who passed away in August of 1995.  He is survived by his current wife, Jeeranan “Nan”, his son, Robert B., and his daughters, Helen Rehn, Joan Beccard and Janice St. Peters.  He will be greatly missed by his eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. 

Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, February 11, 2011 at Gent Funeral Home in Alton. 

A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 12, 2011, at Cathedral (SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church). 

Burial will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery with full military honors by the VFW Post 1308. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Alton Area Landmarks or the Helen St. Peters Memorial Library at SS Peter and Paul School.

Online guestbook and information may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Gent Funeral Home

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