Kenneth Eugene Peterson
Kenneth Eugene Peterson, 68, of Entiat, WA, passed away at home on June 17, 2013. Ken was born in Yakima, WA to Herman and Helen (Nollette) Peterson on November 6, 1944. He attended St. Paul’s Grade School in Yakima, St. Edwards Seminary, and Central Catholic High School in Yakima. After high school graduation in 1962, Ken joined the Army and served for three years at Fort Ord, CA. After discharge from the Army, Ken attended Central Washington College in Ellensburg, where he received a B.A. degree in Education with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy. Ken met his future wife, Mary (Himanga) Peterson, in 1977, when they both worked on the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Wenatchee National Forest. They were married on July 2, 1984, in Reno, NV. The two of them enjoyed almost 36 years of travelling, hiking, fishing, and exploring the many national forests and grasslands near where they lived and worked in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado, as well as many national and state forests and parks throughout the United States. Before his retirement in 2006, Ken worked at several jobs, including High School English teacher, Forestry Technician for the U.S. Forest Service in Washington and Oregon, and as a Recreation Technician for both Nebraska and Wyoming State Parks. Ken also did volunteer work for local resource conservation agencies, voluntarily “pristined” many public access areas by collecting litter, and volunteered as an adult literacy volunteer. Ken was an outgoing and exuberant person who had a joy-filled life. He loved life, lived in the moment, and had a comedic sense of humor. He was an avid reader and had a lifelong love of learning. Ken was fascinated with family history, the arts, anthropology, natural history, and politics. An avid fisherman, he enjoyed fly-fishing and ice fishing with family and friends. He enjoyed many other outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing. A creative writer, Ken wrote almost daily and loved to share his musings with friends and family. He was proud to have published several poems.
Ken is survived by his wife, Mary of Entiat; sisters, Marilyn Peterson of Tacoma, Patricia Uphus of Tacoma, Janet Evans of Yakima, Helen Switzer of Mead, and Joyce (Don) Bryce of Vancouver; brothers, Jim (Gwen) Peterson of Yakima, John (Norean) Peterson of Bremerton, and George (Betty) Peterson of Yakima; sisters-in-law, Lyndell (Mike) Thompson of Arvada, CO, Melody (Stuart) Woolley of Wenatchee; brothers-in-law, Larry (Katie) Himanga of Lake City, MN, Mathew Himanga of Rochester, MN, and Bob Ritchie of Yakima; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Helen Peterson; his brothers, Jerry Peterson, Jens Peterson, and Joe Peterson; and sister, Joan Ritchie.
A Celebration of Ken’s Life will be held at Telford’s Chapel of the Valley, 711 Grant Road in East Wenatchee, WA, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2013. A reception will be held afterwards at the East Wenatchee First Baptist Church at 1700 Grant Road. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Entiat Valley Community Services Food Bank or the Columbia Breaks Fire Interpretive Center in Entiat, WA. Arrangements by Telford’s Chapel of the Valley.