OLD LYME — UPDATED 3:10pm with State Rep. Carney’s comments: The death was announced Monday, Aug. 8, of former State Senator and Old Lyme resident Melodie Peters. She passed away July 31, 2023, at the age of 76.
Peters, a Democrat, was elected to the Senate in 1992, thus becoming the first woman to represent the 20th District, which includes Old Lyme. She was re-elected with significant margins in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002. During her 12-year-tenure in the senate, she served as deputy majority leader of the Senate and co-chairwoman of the Energy and Technology Committee.
Prior to her move into politics, she was a nurse at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London. She also served as Vice President and subsequently, President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
On Monday, the current State Senator for the 20th District, Martha Marx, also a Democrat, released the following statement following the death of Peters. “Melodie Peters was a champion of workers’ rights in Connecticut, and not only served as my State Senator but as my union president.”
Marx continued, “I used to watch her and say ‘nurses can do anything.’ In her decades of work, she always fought for labor and workers, always seeking a better tomorrow. I am grateful for her service to our great state and join many others in mourning her loss.”
State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) sent LymeLine.com the following statement on Peters’ passing, saying, “I am sad to hear of the loss of former State Senator Melodie Peters. Senator Peters represented the 20th Senate District, which includes Old Lyme and Old Saybrook, for 12 years and had a life dedicated to public service. She truly cared about people. She lived right down the street from my mom in Rogers Lake and was always incredibly kind to me.”
He added, “My sincerest condolences to her family.”
Melodie Peters was born July 22, 1947, daughter to the late Wallace “Wally” Larson and Anne Mitchell …
The last few years Melodie unselfishly cared for her husband Earl Peters as his health declined. He undoubtedly was able to enjoy life more because of her love and care. Melodie and Earl were married 40 years until his death four months ago on March 18, 2023.
A longtime community activist and labor leader, Melodie started her career of helping people as a nurse …
… in 1992, Melodie set out for the 20th District Senate seat in the State Legislature. After securing that seat her first time out … she eventually retired twelve years later. Her twelve-year tenure resulted in the passage of numerous pieces of legislation favorable to workers and their families …
Melodie and Earl were members of The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme for many years. There Melodie served on the Board of Deacons, the Soup Kitchen Committee, the Hospitality Committee, and the Ministerial Search Committee. She was generous with her time, talents and wisdom. Her faith was a very important part of her life. The family asks that memorial gifts in her honor be sent to the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Ministers’ Discretionary Fund, 2 Ferry Road Old Lyme, CT 06371. This fund, which Melodie helped to support, serves the needs of those in our community and beyond in their times of need.
The family will have a private celebration of Melodie’s life in the fall.
Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read the