OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Former longtime Boys Town director Rev. Val Peter has died at age 85 Peter oversaw a significant expansion of Boys Town’s programs during his tenure but still managed to connect personally with many of the children who lived at the home’s campus just outside Omaha.

His sister said Peter died Tuesday after battling cancer.

Tim McNeil, chancellor of the Omaha Catholic Archdiocese, said Peter had a “deep love and passion for the children that were entrusted to his care.”

Boys Town was founded in 1917 by the Rev. Edward Flanagan and was immortalized by the 1938 movie “Boys Town.” 

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