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September 2010

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Carl PerthRetired SIU official Carl Peth died unexpectedly on July 31 at his home in Ormond Beach, Fla. He was 69.


Peth spent 34 years with the union, including service at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education in Piney Point, Md., where he was director of manpower. At various other times, he was a headquarters representative, port agent, organizer and safety director. A rank-and-file member from 1968 to 1973, he retired in December 2002.


“Carl truly was an asset to the school, the union and the membership,” said Paul Hall Center Vice President Don Nolan. “He was very honest, hard-working and humble. He will be missed.”


Current Director of Manpower Bart Rogers worked with Peth for 20 years. Rogers described him as “first and foremost a man of God, with very high morals and values. He loved three things that I knew of: He loved his family, his faith and the SIU. He treated everyone with kindness and respect. During his time with the SIU he touched many lives and always did the right thing.”


Leo Bonser, retired headquarters representative, said he “knew Brother Peth as a man of his God, a man of his family and a dedicated man to Seafarers and their families. He was a great shipmate to work with and will be remembered.”


Retired Port Agent Edd Morris kept in touch with Peth.


“It is with sadness that I reflect upon Carl recently dying in his slumber,” Morris said. “With his quiet demeanor, he helped many Seafarers working to overcome their troubles and demons. He didn’t do his good works for any praise or even any recognition – he just did whatever needed to be done, without fanfare.”


Morris added, “In the course of his career, he wore many hats and bore many crosses while he assisted others with their new challenges. Some would say that he was a swell guy; personally, I say that he is a great inspiration – the kind of hero we all can use.”


A native of Chicago, Peth joined the SIU in 1968 in San Francisco. He first sailed as a messman aboard the Cornell Victory. He switched to the engine department and eventually upgraded to QMED before coming ashore to work for the union in the early 1970s.


His positions with the union and school included those of patrolman in New York and New Orleans, welfare services representative in the Great Lakes region, and port agent in Piney Point. He was active in the community, including activities supporting local churches and schools.


When his retirement was announced in early 2003, Peth stated, “The SIU is a wonderful organization and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”


Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Gladys; two adult children; a sister and two brothers.

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