Kansas Local Government And Their Utilities Lose a Key Advocate - Bob Peter

January 23, 2019

KMU Dispatch
Posted on January 23, 2019

Kansas local government and their utilities lost a key advocate as Robert (Bob) Peter of Ellinwood passed away last week following an accident at home. He worked tirelessly for the communities and organizations for which he served including Kansas Municipal Utilities. He was a strong supporter of public utilities both small and large and was considered a powerful voice of reason. His voice and his leadership will be missed.

“Bob had a powerful intellect and could learn and master a technical utility concept with great ease. He would claim that he was only an attorney, but I would put him up against just about anyone in our membership on the depth of technical and practical knowledge that he had about the utility industry,” said Colin Hansen, KMU Executive Director. “I will greatly miss Bob’s wry, dry and sarcastic sense of humor, but what I will miss most is his friendship.” After graduating from Ellinwood High School and a stint in the U.S. Army when drafted, Bob graduated from Emporia State and later earned his law degree from the University of Denver Law School. He returned to Barton County to serve those in his home area.

He began his law career in private practice in Great Bend., and after becoming the Ellinwood City Attorney, he opened a law practice in Ellinwood. In addition to his work for the city, he also represented multiple other municipalities, school districts and Barton Community College. In 2001, he was named City Administrator for the City of Ellinwood.

Bob was actively involved on the KMU Board of Directors since 2009 and was KMU President in 2013. He also served on the original Board of Directors for the Kansas Power Pool and as its President from 2010-2012. He was active in both organizations serving on numerous committees, task forces and leadership positions. He was also an effective advocate for municipalities before the Kansas Legislature in Topeka and before the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C.

He was recognized for his work and achievements by receiving the APPA Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award in 2014 and the KMU Schowalter Award in 2015.

He married his wife Julie on August 13, 1998. For the last 20 years, he has enjoyed traveling, following the Jayhawks, and immersing himself in his children and grandchildren’s lives. He was a constant presence in his community and with his family. He is survived by his wife, Julie, his children Lindsay (Dennis) Cox, Kelly Peter, Cody (Christine) McNorton and Kelli (Slayton) Rous, grandchildren Dawson, Darrian, Diesel, Troy, and Carrington, and brothers Rollie (Sue Ann) and Brad (Vickie). He was preceded in death by his parents.

His funeral service was Tuesday in Ellinwood with interment at the Lakin-Comanche District Cemetery in Ellinwood. Memorials are suggested to Ellinwood Public Education & Library Foundation in care of the Robert L. Peter scholarship fund, or Ellinwood EMS, in care of Minnis Chapel, PO Box 246, Ellinwood, KS 67526.