|The Fletcher Forum
|Peter Bacon Fletcher launched the "Fletcher Forum" at a restaurant on East Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti but later moved the event to VFW Post 2408 at 616 West Michigan Avenue. The group now meets each Saturday morning from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the Senior Center in Recreation Park and draws county and city officials, attorneys, activists and other people interested in politics. When Peter passed away on September 29, 2012, the group determined that the meeting shall forever be called “The Fletcher Forum.”
Fletcher was 80 years old at the time of his death. He was educated in the Ypsilanti Public Schools, maintained an all “A” average, and was valedictorian of his class. In high school he received an American Legion Citizenship Award and a Certificate of Merit from the Michigan High School Forensic Association. Following high school he was awarded a Regents’ Scholarship at the University of Michigan and majored in Political Science. He earned academic honors all four years and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Sigma Alpha. He graduated in 1954 and for two years was employed by the Frigidaire Division of General Motors in Detroit and Dayton, Ohio.
In 1957 he returned to Ypsilanti and joined the staff of the Ypsilanti Credit Bureau that was founded by his father, Foster Fletcher, in 1924. Peter took over the ownership of the Bureau in 1969.
Over the years Peter has held numerous political offices within Michigan and in the Republican Party. In 1975 he was named National GOP Committee Member and in 1976 he served as Gerald Ford’s Michigan Campaign Manager during the presidential campaign.
In 1972 Fletcher was appointed Chairman of the Michigan State Highway Commission. In this position he controlled a budget of $5 billion and a work force of 4,300. Although he is well known for his many statewide contributions in this position, he will always be remembered for putting the fictitious towns of “Beat OSU” and “GoBlu” on the official highway map for the State of Michigan.
Some of the many other positions held by Fletcher include: Trustee on the Board of Michigan State University, Ypsilanti Representative on the People’s Community Hospital Board, Treasurer and Board member of the Ypsilanti Players, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Chamber Citizens Advisory Committee on Urban Renewal, Director of the Rotary Club of Ypsilanti, Chair of the Ypsilanti Area Washtenaw County Cancer Crusade, Director of the Ypsilanti Community Chest, Director of the National Bank of Ann Arbor, Board Chairman for the First Methodist Church, Chair of the Washtenaw County Republican Committee, and many others too numerous to mention. He was instrumental in establishing the Ypsilanti Automotive Museum and was active in the Ypsilanti Historical Society.
Peter Fletcher was an avid reader and historical buff and impressed all those who knew him with his gift of language and oratorical skills. He will be missed by all those who had the pleasure and privilege of knowing him.
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