Obituary: Irvin "Pete" Peterson

January 29, 2018

 

On January 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, FL, of complications associated with Alzheimer's disease. Born and raised in California, Pete graduated from Dinuba High School in 1943 and immediately enlisted in the Navy where he was assigned to the V-12 program. He subsequently served in the World War II Pacific Theater on the USS Gardiners Bay, a seaplane tender, until mustered out in 1946 as a lieutenant. Pete obtained a bachelor's degree at the University of California Davis in 1951.

On graduation, he married Patricia Abbott, and they moved to a Dinuba turkey ranch, followed by stops in Visalia and Merced, having three boys along the way. Pete took his turkey ranch experience back with him to UC Davis where he obtained his DVM degree in 1963. Pete's entire career was devoted to identifying, controlling, and preventing poultry diseases. He retired from the US Department of Agriculture in Beltsville where he was the chief staff veterinarian for disease control programs of the National Poultry Improvement Plan. Pete's work in this field became the standard for poultry farms in the US, and he was dispatched to several foreign countries to advise and improve their own programs. Pete was an active member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Rotary International, and Toastmasters, as well as held adult leadership positions in Boy Scouts of America.

Pat and Pete moved to Beverly Hills, FL, on his "retirement," but his work continued in the community, volunteering across several organizations there. Pete was happiest when out supporting the neighborhood, whether planting trees, picking up trash, sorting recyclables, or running errands for others less able. Pete was an exercise enthusiast and continued to work out almost daily past his 91st birthday until the scourge of Alzheimer's finally prevented him from doing so.

Pete was predeceased by his wife Patricia in 2009. He is survived by Frank (Marie) of Dravosburg, PA, Donald (Patty) of Palmyra, NY, and Alan (Robin) of Annandale, VA; grandchildren Amanda, Carly (Johnny), Dustin (Laurie), Terra, Zachary, and Abby; and great-grandsons, Declan and Finley. Pete also leaves behind his devoted companion, Carolyn, who did so much for him in his final years. A memorial service was held in the Beverly Hills Community Church on Saturday, January 20. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributing to the Beverly Hills Community Church or planting a tree in the community in his honor.

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