In the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, January 7, 1952
“Memorial to Robert Peter”
To the Honorable, the Judges of this Court:
The Committee appointed by the Bar Association of Montgomery County to present a memorial to the memory of our departed brother, Robert Peter, respectfully reports:
Robert Peter, or “Bob” as he was affectionately called by all who knew him, was born in Rockville, Maryland, on September 29th, 1897, the son of an outstanding lawyer and jurist, the late Judge Robert B. Peter, a former member of this court, and Helen Olivia Laury. A direct descendant of Robert Peter, the first Mayor of Georgetown, he came from a line of distinguished lawyers and jurists. His grandfather, George Peter, was a prominent member of this Bar for many years, during which time he served as President of the Maryland Senate. His uncle, the late Judge Edward Peter, was a great lawyer and jurist; while another uncle, Arthur Peter, was Vice President and Counsel for The Washington Loan and Trust Company. It may well be said the “Bob” came by his legal ability naturally.
He received his early education at the Rockville Academy and upon graduation from that institution entered George Washington University, from which he received a Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1920 and a Master’s Degree in 1921. While he was enrolled at George Washington University, this country entered World War I, and in June 7 1917 he enlisted as a Seaman 2nd class in the United States Navy. He was relieved from active duty on March 13, 1919, with the rank of Ensign and received his Honorable Discharge from the United States Naval Reserve Force on July 10, 1921.
Upon graduation from Law School, he was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1920, and at once entered upon the active practice of law in Rockville. His careful attention to details, his absolute honesty and his unusual legal ability soon won him a place of prominence at the Bar. He served as State Attorney for Montgomery County from 1927 thru 1931. In 1939, he was elected State Senator for Montgomery County and served in the General Assembly of Maryland thru 1943. He was a former President of the Montgomery County Bar Association and a Vice President of the Maryland State Bar Association, of which organization he was a member until the time of his death. During his distinguished career he participated in the trial of many prominent and important cases, and served, among others as local counsel for The Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Maryland Casualty Company, U. S. Fidelity and Guaranty Company, Aetna Casualty Company, Potomac Electric Power Company, Capital Transit Company, Washington Gas Light Company of Maryland and the North American Casualty Company. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County National Bank of Rockville, where his wise counsel was greatly heeded.
On April 20th, 1931, Robert Peter married Mary F. Tyler, and two fine sons were born of the marriage, Robert Peter III and George Tyler Peter; all of whom survive him. His domestic life was ideal. To him there was “no place like home.” He was a devoted husband and father, of an equally devoted family, and in their companionship he found his greatest pleasure. He lived a good christian life, and was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church.
His gentle manner, the kindliness of his disposition and the warmth of his affection readily endeared him to all who enjoyed the privilege of association with him. He was not only learned in the law, well versed in the history and development, with a broad knowledge required from the reading of miscellaneous literature, but he was endowed by nature with a legal mind. He was possessed of another thing essential to a successful lawyer – devotion to his profession. Public notoriety and political preferment had no attraction for him as compared with the duties attending his legal work. He was ever ready to help those members of his profession who were beginners, or who were not so well versed in the law, and his kindly advice was fully given to all who asked for it. While he was in poor health during the last years of his life, he never complained and labored patiently and industriously until the day of his untimely death.