A “Celebration of Life” was held this weekend to honor a career of, but more importantly the man, Bob “RH” Peters. Peters passed away in mid December. The funeral and Celebration of Life were held this weekend in conjunction with the Galen Nagle Golf Tournament for BSU Mens Hockey. The “Nagle” brings back hundreds of alums to town each summer. The wait from December to now was hard on the family, but it allowed Coach’s players to come back to Bemidji to honor “Coach”.
“Coach”…is the only way that his players ever referred to him. By calling him “Coach”, that tells you the importance of him in his players lives. What is the definition of the word?
one who instructs or trains; one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy
We’ve all had coaches we liked. We’ve all had coaches that we hate. RH’s players LOVED him. Coach was hard on his players, but hard on them with a purpose. They understood WHY Bob did what he did. Everything with a purpose!
I was honored to be asked to emcee the Celebration of Life. I never played for Bob. Heck, I grew up in Los Angeles before Wayne Gretzky played there. I’ve never played the game! Why was I so emotional today? Why did today mean so much to me? Because I feel so fortunate. Not everyone could call up Bob and ask to come to talk hockey for use on-air and get to hear his passion for this program, this town, and this university. I’d ask Bob to come record a few segments for on-air use, thinking that it might be a half an hour. Three hours later, he walked out of the studio.
Without a decision by Bob to come to Bemidji in 1966, Kelly and I don’t ever come to Bemidji. Without Bob’s decision, Kelly and I don’t get the chance to work D-1 hockey. Kelly has had doors opened to her to call pro games, men and women’s, because of RH’s decision to come to Bemidji State, and his belief that women’s hockey needed to be a staple at BSU.
His decisions were more far-reaching than any of us could understand, but he always wanted what was best for the game.
At the Celebration of Life, I was stopped by so many alums to thank me for the broadcasts, or to thank me for being the emcee at the event. Nope! Thanks to RH. Without him, none of our lives are what they are today. Tom Serratore had a quote to me the day RH passed. “RH was ELITE at what he did!” There aren’t many in this world that can truely be called elite.
RH, thank you for everything. From the hockey camp, to a random student at BSU with whom you left your mark, to your players and fans…thank you, for being you!
Here is the link to watch the archive of the Celebration of Life: https://nsicnetwork.com/bsubeavers/?B=400868
Here is the link to the Tom Serratore Show the day RH passed: http://beaverradionetwork.com/audio/1011/brnpodcasts/12-15-21_chatt.mp3