With regrets, one of Perry's finest, Ernie Peterson has taken his Final Voyage on April 7th, 2009 after battling cancer the past six months. I'm proud to say, Ernie ranks high among our many gallant Perry shipmates. Ernie stood up to every challenge and only saw an opportunity in the middle of every difficulty. Even a 3,000 + mile voyage to our many East Coast reunions never stopped him from joining us and sharing his wonderful sea stories. It's easy to see how Ernie achieved celebrity status at our reunions.
I know Ernie will be with us in spirit at our Pensacola reunion no matter what. He will also be remembered at our Memorial Service when we pay tribute to all our shipmates who have taken their final voyage since our last gathering. Ernie may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.
To our friend and fellow shipmate, 'may the seas be calm and the wind at your back on your final voyage', smooth sailing.
On behalf the Perry Association, we wish his wife Bea, daughter Nancy and all the Pederson clan our sincere condolences. We want you to know, you all remain a part of our extended Perry family and we hope to see you at future reunions.
BEATRICE & ERNIE PETERSON
6714 CHUCKANUT DRIVE
BOW, WA 98232
Ernie Peterson - 87
August 24th, 1921 - April 7th, 2009
On Tuesday April 7th, 2009, Ernest J. Peterson, 87, an amazing wonderful husband, father, grandfather & great-grandfather, lost his 6 month battle with cancer. He was born August 24th, 1921 in Bow, WA, the son of Norwegian Immigrants, Peder and Ellen Peterson. It was there he was raised and spent his entire life except for his years in the Navy.
As one of eight children, he attended many one-room schoolhouses around the Bow area and then went on to graduate from Edison High School in 1939. Shortly after high school, he enlisted in the US Navy. He served 6 years in the military and saw many parts of the world. He was just off the coast of England on D Day, as a Engineman First Class on the amphibious boats that were taking the soldiers from their ships to the beach on that fateful day.
On one of his leaves when he got to come home, he met his wife Beatrice Staffanson. They were married June 22, 1946 and they lived for a short time on the East Coast where he was stationed. After he was discharged, they returned to the Skagit Valley area to raise their family.
Ernie is survived by his wife of 62 years, Beatrice S. Peterson, and his five children and their spouses Doug Peterson and his wife Ginger of Bow, Nancy Hoffman and her husband Gary of Bow, Dan Peterson and his wife Koby of Bow, Barb Warfield and her husband Brad of Tonasket, and Jeanie Hertz and her husband Butch of La Conner, 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. There were many of us, but always enough time and love to go around.
He is also survived by one sister and brother-in-law, John and Myrtle Allgire of Oak Harbor, WA, and one brother-in-law, Claude Geiger of Bellingham, brother's & sister's-in-laws, Ken and Phyllis Staffanson of La Conner and Chuck and Ellen Chain of Redding, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Tilda Anderson, Esther Boe, and Marie Geiger, and his brothers, Martin, Mynor, Palmer Peterson.
Ernie and Bea had traveled to all 50 states in their motor-home and enjoyed multiple trips to the "Old Country" in Norway and Sweden. They were especially fond of the time they spent camping with their grandchildren at Thousand Trails campgrounds.
Upon his return to Skagit County he worked for many businesses as a mechanic. In the early 60's he went to work as a Civil Service mechanic at NAS Whidbey in Oak Harbor until his retirement in 1986. Ernie was one who was known to be able to fix anything. During his life, he believed in service to others and gave unconditionally of his time to his family, friends and many organizations. He was the Scoutmaster of Pack #73, Retired Fire Chief of Edison Fire Department, Past Commander of the American Legion Post # 91 in Burlington, and Volunteer of the Year for Skagit County Historical Museum as one of the Bayview Boys working to restore antique farm machinery. He attended Edison Lutheran Church, was a member of the Edison Sportsman's Club, Skagit Men's Garden Club, B-E School District Advisory Board, Edison Alumni Association, and the Pioneer Association of Skagit County. He also enjoyed attending the ship reunions of the USS Perry!
Pastor Larry Olsen will officiate a graveside service on Saturday April, 10, 2009 at 1 pm followed by a memorial at Edison Lutheran Church at 2 pm with a reception to follow. Memorials may be made to the Skagit County Historical Society, the Edison Lutheran Church Building fund, or to Skagit Hospice.
We want to thank Dr. Jafari for his loving care of our Dad, many times referring to him as his favorite 87 year old Norwegian patient, and all the nurses there at the Cancer Care Center in Mt. Vernon. And also to Skagit Hospice who helped us support Dad at home this past week. We appreciated their gentle kindness.