Video: Emergency responders gather, say goodbye to longtime public servant
By Brandi Makuski
Emergency responders from across the state visited Shuda Funeral Home on March 23 and 24 to say goodbye to longtime Stockton EMT Trudy Beth Peters.
Peters, 57 of Stevens Point, died unexpectedly at home on March 16. She leaves behind her husband, Jeff, four children, and three grandchildren.
Peters was a founding member of the town of Stockton’s EMS group in the 1990s, and was one of its longest-serving members, having been an active member on the department’s roster for over 25 years. She also helped secure the Portage Co. Enhanced 911 system.
Services for Peters attracted hundreds of friends, family members, colleagues, and coworkers from her job at CoVantage Credit Union and numerous fire/EMS departments. Members of the latter wore their dress uniforms.
A visitation and Bell Ceremony were held for Peters on Thursday, March 23, emceed by Dewey Fire Chief Brian Lepper.
Lepper shared some history behind the bell he rung during the traditional funeral ceremony. It came from a 1940s deactivated fire engine recently returned to the Dewey Fire Department. Jeff and Trudy Beth Peters were responsible for restoring the bell, he said.
Following Thursday’s ceremony, Jeff Peters said the bell “had now come full circle.”
The ceremony also included a final page for Trudy Beth Peters, broadcast by the Portage Co. Communications Center and heard at the funeral home via radios carried by fire/EMS members.
The broadcast is a tradition anytime a member of law enforcement/fire/EMS retires or dies.
On Friday, a brief funeral ceremony was held at Shuda’s, from which the procession traveled to Greenwood Cemetery in Amherst. Amherst Fire Chief Victor Voss arraigned an American flag display to greet the procession at the cemetery entrance.
Several local fire chiefs organized an honorarium, unbeknownst to Jeff Peters, with chiefs and/or members from Stevens Point, Plover, Hull, Dewey, Stockton, Almond, and Amherst Fire departments saluting the funeral procession as it passed the intersection of County Hwy. J and Hwy. 10. The Portage Co. Sheriff was also present to assist with traffic control.
The Amherst Fire Department was covering Stockton’s calls for the duration. Following the burial, a luncheon was held at the AFD, where Jeff Peters is a captain.