Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Dr. Richard B. Peoples (1928-2015): Orthopedic surgeon loved theater, music




A memorial service is scheduled for June 10 in West Toledo for Dr. Richard B. Peoples, 86, a longtime orthopedic surgeon in the Toledo area, who died Dec. 11 of a pulmonary disorder in Vitas Hospice in Fort Worth.

Dr. Peoples was one of the first to perform arthroscopic surgery in the Toledo area in the 1970s.

He was affiliated with the orthopedics practice of Dr. James Pollex and Dr. Carl Herkimer, also known as Peoples, Pollex and Herkimer, which later became known as the West Side Orthopedic Group.

His third wife, Sharon Peoples, who was married to him the last 26 years of his life, described Dr. Peoples as a very generous man.

“He liked people; his last name was very appropriate,” Mrs. Peoples, who was born and raised in Toledo, said. “He was a fascinating person. He made friends like you wouldn’t believe.”

Similar comments were made about him by Fred King, a longtime friend who knew him through Fairgreen Presbyterian Church on Laskey Road, which Dr. Peoples attended.

“He was a very generous individual,” Mr. King said. “He had many, many good friends at church.”

Some people thought of Dr. Peoples as a friendly, approachable doctor because for a long time he held office hours for members of his congregation immediately after church.

Dr. Peoples was born July 11, 1928, in Aliquippa, Pa., to Joseph and Beulah Peoples. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Royersford, Pa., where the future doctor attended Royersford Schools.

He went on to graduate from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., and Jefferson Medical School at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

His mother told him at a young age that she thought he would grow up to become a doctor, his wife said. He also loved theater and believed that if he hadn’t become a doctor, he would have pursued a career in theater, his wife said.

Dr. Peoples enlisted in the Navy to do his medical internship. He did his residency from 1958 to 1961 at what is now Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, where he ultimately become chief resident. He retired from medicine in 2006

He grew fond of California, living in Oakland from 1977 to 1995. He then returned to Toledo from 1995 to 2012 before moving to Texas.

Dr. Peoples loved music, fine dining, good wine, golf, and other activities. He learned to ski in his 50s and was active in local theater groups in Ohio and California. He and his wife loved to travel, she said.

Survivors include his third wife, Sharon Peoples; daughters Susan Warner and Beth Binnion; sons Greg Peoples and Jeff Peoples; stepchildren Sherri Burke, Kelly Prater, and Michael Madden; 17 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, and a sister, Helen Peters.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. June 10 at Fairgreen Presbyterian Church on Laskey Road, with visitation starting at 10 a.m.

Contributions may be made to Vitas Hospice, Wounded Warriors, Fairgreen Presbyterian Church, or a recipient of the donor’s choice.

Contact Tom Henry at:, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.

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