A private graveside service was held for Richard “Lee” Peterson, 101, on Saturday, August 1 at the Wheatland Cemetery in Wheatland, with military honors accorded by Ora Call American Legion Post #10 and Laramie Peak VFW Post #3558.
Lee died Thursday, July 30 at his home in Douglas with his family at his bedside.
Lee was born Saturday, Jan. 18, 1919 in Elm Creek, Neb. the son of Ivin Anderson and Cena Marie (Miller) Peterson. He attended school in Big Springs, Neb., Sidney, Neb., Pine Bluffs, Glendo and Golden, Colo., before attending Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
Upon graduating from Mines in 1941 as a geological engineer, he joined the Army Air Corps as an aerial engineer. He then served as a Photo Interpreter with the 7th Air Force in Hawaii. Lee was then stationed on Saipan, Guam, and Okinawa. Lastly, Lee served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater as a combat intelligence staff officer in the 21st Bomber Command and 7th Air Force where he briefed the Commanding General and his staff on Japanese industry and aerial targets in Japan and China. Upon his honorable discharge as a Major in 1946 Lee returned to Wheatland to marry Barbara Jean Russell June 1, 1946. They were married for 57 years and had two children, Judy and Richard.
In 1947, Lee and Barbara moved to Casper where Lee worked as a surveyor with Standolind Pipe Line. During the next year, Lee obtained his license to be a surveyor and moved to Douglas. Lee was actively involved in leasing and exploration of oil and gas properties. Prior to her death, Lee and Barbara enjoyed traveling with their family members. Lee’s favorite destination was Hawaii. He enjoyed fishing in Hawaii and Alaska. Lee liked gardening, growing fruit trees, fishing, and working in the oil business. While Lee was always an “oil man”, he also enjoyed other ventures in ranching, farming, and mining exploration.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ivin, on June 12, 1971; mother, Cena, on Oct. 3, 1971 both of Wheatland; and his wife, Barbara, on April 2, 2003.
Lee was survived by his two children, Judy Lea (Alan) Wickam of Glendo and Richard A. (Sandy) Peterson of Newport Beach, Calif.; grandchildren, Robert A. (Tia) Jones of Glendo, Michael Lee (Jill) Jones of Denver, Colo., Whitney (Ramsay) Mclearie of Playa Vista, Calif., Devyn Peterson of Costa Mesa, Calif., and Tayler Peterson of Costa Mesa; and great grandchildren, Brooklyn and Harper Jones of Denver and Dylan and Lennon Mclearie of Playa Vista.
A memorial to the Glendo Volunteer Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 404, Glendo, WY 82213 or to the Meals on Wheels Program in care of Douglas Senior Citizens Center, P.O. Box 192, Douglas, WY 82633 would be appreciated by the family.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming was in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com