As $9.1M Project Begins,
Village Thanks Ted Peters
Editor’s Note: The guest of honor at the Friday, Aug. 16, groundbreaking on the Village of Cooperstown’s $9.1 million water treatment plant project was Ted Peters, retired Bassett Hospital researcher and longtime chair of the village’s sewer and water boards. A plaque honoring him will be placed on the expanded building. Here are Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch’s words of tribute.
By ELLEN TILLAPAUGH KUCH • Mayor of Cooperstown
Many volunteers have contributed their time in service to our community. But certainly none has reached the pinnacle of community service of today’s honoree – Dr. Theodore “Ted” Peters, Jr.
Not only has the Village of Cooperstown benefited from his community service, but we have also benefited from his incredible professional knowledge. How many communities of our size can boast having a renowned biochemist guiding their water and sewer decisions? One of the reasons we were able to make our 1969 plant function for some long was due to his expertise.
The Village of Cooperstown was fortunate indeed when Dr. Peters was recruited to Bassett Hospital in 1955 – at a time when there were only 16 senior professional staff at Bassett. He worked as a research biochemist from 1955 until 1988, when he quote “retired” to emeritus status. But if you think that meant he slowed down much, you are wrong.
He continued to assist in the clinical laboratory at Bassett into his ’90s, reading electrophoretic patterns of blood plasma proteins. Through his work, he identified and named a genetic albumin variant – it is known as “Albumin Cooperstown.”
A submarine radar officer in World War II and in the Korean War, you won’t be surprised to learn he was first in his submarine officers’ class in 1945.
When Admiral Ronald Boxall visited our community in May to speak to the Rotary Club, of which Ted is the longest-serving member, Ted was unable to make the meeting. But when I shared his biography with Admiral Boxall – the Admiral assured me that no matter how busy he would be that day, he would make time to visit this incredible naval veteran who so gallantly served his country. In fact, the admiral said it was an honor to sit and chat with Dr. Ted.
After that World War II service, Ted completed his Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Harvard in just three years. He held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has more than 125 publications to his credit as well as a definitive book on albumin.
We are blessed that he found time in his extremely distinguished career to volunteer with the village. For nearly 40 years he served on the Sewer Board and the Water Board – decades of service as chair of those boards.