Douglas J.J. Peters, 60, of Bowie, MD, former Majority Leader of the Maryland State Senate, passed away surrounded by his family on December 30th, 2023, after a courageous battle with Multiple Myeloma.
Doug was born on December 28, 1963, to Thomas and Elizabeth Peters in Silver Spring, MD. The fourth of six siblings – and the son of two Maryland educators – he was proud to have completed the entirety of his education in the Maryland public school system.
Doug graduated from Springbrook High School in 1981, having earned varsity letters in football and wrestling. He went on to study at The University of Maryland, College Park. He joined, and soon served as President of, the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. He also served as president of the school’s Interfraternity Council. He was an avid Maryland Terps fan, often attending football and basketball games. He liked to remind people of the awe he felt as a witness to Michael Jordan’s “Rock the Cradle” dunk against the Terps in 1984. Doug graduated in 1985, earning a BS in Finance.
After graduation, Doug worked at a bank in Washington DC. The job was unremarkable, with one life-altering exception. It was where he met the love of his life, Corinne. Their love blossomed over many lunch dates, and they married on July 30, 1988, in Baltimore, MD. Doug moved from the bank to a sales job in the document storage business and later co-founded a small storage business of his own, Metropolitan Archives, with longtime friend Joseph Incarnato. Doug continued his studies while working and earned an MBA from the University of Baltimore in 1990. During this time, he also joined the US Army Reserves as an Officer. In 1990, he deployed overseas in Operation Desert Storm, earning a Bronze Star for his service. Doug retired from the Reserves in 1998 as a Captain.
In 1992, Doug and Corinne moved into their first and only home in Bowie, MD. In Bowie, they established their roots and raised their growing family. Doug continued his business career and began serving his new community as a Commander of Bowie’s VFW and American Legion.
He began his political career in 1998, winning a seat on the Bowie City Council. After four years on the City Council, including a term as Mayor Pro Tem, he was elected to represent District 4 to the Prince George’s County Council in 2002. He won election to the Maryland State Senate in 2007, representing District 23.
Doug was a member of the Budget and Tax Committee for his entire 15-year tenure in the Senate. He was instrumental in the development of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, and secured funding for numerous projects at the University of Maryland, Bowie State University and for the City of Bowie. In the Senate, he served as Majority Leader, Chair of the Veterans’ Caucus and Chair of the Prince George’s County Senate Delegation. Most meaningfully, he chaired the Capital Budget Subcommittee of the Senate Budget and Tax Committee, a position he used to provide much needed funding to schools, libraries, universities, hospitals, and non-profit organizations across the state.
In addition to facilitating funding to meet critical needs, Doug wrote and successfully championed scores of legislative proposals that improved the lives of Marylanders, especially veterans and military families, first responders, and small businesses. Education was a special passion of Doug’s; it was a central focus of his work in Bowie and Upper Marlboro, as well as in Annapolis. He was especially proud to have awarded college scholarships to over 1,200 students. His legislative success was due, in no small part, to his ability to build coalitions and to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle.
Doug retired from the Senate in 2021, calling it “an honor of a lifetime to serve my neighbors at the city, county and state level.” He added that “no matter where I served, I only sought to help people.” He was subsequently appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland and to the Board of Directors for the University of Maryland Medical System.
Faith was a central pillar of Doug’s life. He was a longtime parishioner of Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, served on the DeMatha Catholic High School steering committee, the Elizabeth Seton High School Foundation board, and was a past president of the St. Pius X Home and School Association.
Above everything else, it is no secret that Doug’s family was his pride and joy. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Corinne (Kott) Peters, their six children, their spouses, and three grandchildren: James (Rebecca) Peters, Natalie (Chandler) Peters-Burkett, Bradley Peters, Jacquelyn Peters, Stephanie Peters, Wesley Peters; grandsons Russell and Tommy Peters, and granddaughter Cosette Burkett. He also leaves five siblings: Gregory (Josie) Peters, Cheryl (Joe) Wyatt, Celeste (Ray) Biagini, Carolyn (Ian) Pilcher, Candace Crew, and their families.
Doug will be remembered as a loving husband, a committed father, a dedicated public servant, a man of faith, a soldier and a businessman. He had a quick wit, a playful nature, a humble demeanor, a competitive streak, and a kind spirit. He also had a tremendous appetite, boasting often about the sloppy joe eating contest he won in college (14 sandwiches!). He loved road trips and belting out the words to Bruce Springsteen, Foreigner, and Prince songs. On special occasions, he would moonwalk to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” He took pride in his work ethic, knocking on thousands of doors every year to check in with the community he loved and represented.
A viewing will be held on Monday, January 22 at Bowie’s Beall Funeral Home from 4:00 – 8:00 pm. Additional parking with shuttle buses will be available at Boswell Hall, 6111 Columbian Way, Bowie which is 0.5 miles from the funeral home.
The funeral service will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (https://give.themmrf.org/fundraiser/5156440) to continue the fight against this horrible disease.