Ed, you made a difference

Cancer claims automotive expert

Note: The following information was supplied in a University of Alaska Anchorage press release.

Ed Peace, an instructor in the University of Alaska Anchorage's automotive technology program and one of Alaska's greatest experts regarding cars and driving, died Sunday at his home in Anchorage surrounded by his family. He was 68.

Peace had suffered from lung cancer for at least two years but maintained a full schedule, teaching and donating his time to sundry causes, nearly until his last days.

Peace was born in Philadelphia and spent 21 years in the U.S. Air Force, according to his son, Torey Peace. He made several journeys to Alaska beginning in 1958 and moved here permanently in 1969, his son said. He retired as a tech sergeant in 1978.

Peace loved automobiles and worked in the auto-repair industry, running shops for others over the course of several decades, said Kelly Smith, director of the Transportation and Power Division of UAA's Community and Technical College.

"He was always an ambassador for the industry, modeling professionalism and customer service," Smith said. "He was especially interested and excited about new and emerging technology. He brought these attributes with him when he came to work at the University of Alaska Anchorage (in the late 1990s)."

Peace was generous with his time. Among organizations for which he volunteered in some automotive or other capacity were the Alaska Women's Show, Alaska Family Court, the ARC of Anchorage, the Alaska Military Youth Academy, where he served as a youth mentor, Skills USA and others. He and other Transportation and Power Division faculty shared their expertise and advice with Anchorage School District students and industry technicians. Together with his UAA automotive students, he performed free checks on engine-block heaters for Anchorage residents, answering questions about the proper operation and maintenance of vehicles during the winter months.

Last year, Mayor Mark Begich appointed Peace, who was an expert on vehicle emission control systems, to the I/M Task Force. The group's mission was to evaluate the Anchorage Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program and recommend whether it should be continued as it was, changed or scrapped altogether.

Peace concluded the program had accomplished much of its mission -- cleaning up the city's air -- but should not be discontinued. He felt that if nothing else the I/M program offered regular measurements of carbon dioxide, which he said was an increasing concern due to its effects on climate.

Peace championed new forms of power generation, especially in Alaska where traditional fossil fuels are becoming cost-prohibitive.

"It doesn't matter what you believe about global warming," he told The Northern Light, the UAA student newspaper, in June 2007. "Gasoline is expensive now, and someday it's going away. We need to overcome these things."

He urged motorists to recognize that gas mileage is almost as much a matter of good vehicle and tire maintenance as it is of engine size and body weight. Keep your oil clean and changed regularly, he advised. Air filter too. Be sure the carburetor is finely adjusted and the engine-block heater works well. Keep tires at their proper pressure.

"It's minor maintenance, it's nickel-and-dime things," he told Channel 2 News just a year ago when gasoline was hitting $3 a gallon. "Proper air pressure in all tires could make the difference between 17 and 25 percent fuel economy."

"His dedication is evidenced by his many awards, including the NAPA/ASE 2000 Alaskan Technician of the year," Smith said. Another of his honors was a UAA Chancellor's Award in 2005 for Exemplary Achievement in Support of Diversity.

Peace is survived by his wife, Rosemary Peace; sons, Torey and Richard Peace; daughters, Fay Peace, Cheryl Fischer and Kathleen Trobough; and four grandchildren.

The family plans a private ceremony to mark his life and passing, Torey Peace said.


Meggie said…
Sounds like your community has lost a great sorry for your loss!
Dave said…
Thanks Meggie!