Former Hartford Mayor Mike Peters died Sunday night at Hartford Hospital after a battle with cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure.
Peters was 60 years old.
He underwent a liver transplant in October 2008 due to damage from cirrhosis. After the transplant, Peters left Hartford Hospital and was being cared for in a rehabilitation facility. Seven weeks later, Peters was back in intensive care and was reportedly having problems with his kidneys and needed dialysis.
Family friends said doctors were hoping Peters' condition would improve so he could have a kidney transplant, but Peters was too ill and never left the hospital.
He died around 8 p.m. Sunday.
Peters' sister, Geraldine Sullivan told the Hartford Courant that her brother took a sudden turn for the worse about 3 a.m. Sunday morning and that his death was unexpected. He was surrounded by family and died peacefully, she said.
Peters was first elected Mayor of Hartford in 1993. He served four terms until 2001.
He also created the Thomas Hooker Day Parade.
Peters was born in 1948 in Hartford, graduated from South Catholic High School, married and had three children with his wife Jeannette.
Prior to his election, Peters served as a Hartford firefighter for 22 years, Democratic Town Committee member and Redevelopment Agency member before he was elected mayor.
He was at the city's helm when it demolished several dilapidated public housing projects and launched a gang crackdown. Hartford also hosted the first debate between presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in 1996, the same year in which Peters was named one of Governing Magazine's top 10 public officials.
State Rep. Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey says Peters’ seven years in office were a lot of fun.
Current mayor Eddie Perez released a statement about Peters' death.
"It is with great sadness and (a) heavy heart that we share the passing of Mayor Mike Peters. I have expressed my sympathies to his family in their time of grief. Hartford has lost a great champion and cheerleader. There isn't a fight he wouldn't take on,” Perez said. “Sadly, he lost his fight for his health but will always be remembered for his passion … for his beloved Hartford … and for the contributions he made to help us become New England's rising star."
Calling hours: Wednesday, January 7 from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m., D'Esopo Funeral Chapel, 277 Folly Brook Blvd, Wethersfield.
Funeral Mass and Burial: Thursday, January 8 at 10 a.m., St. Augustine Church, 10 Campfield Ave., Hartford followed by burial at Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Ave., Hartford.