Richard “Dick” Peterson, 83, of Columbus Junction passed away on Friday, March 20, 2020 at Mercy Medical Center in Iowa City. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. The Snyder & Hollenbaugh Funeral and Cremation Services of Columbus Junction, formerly the Stacy-Lewis Funeral Home is caring for the family. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sandhfuneralservices.com.
Richard was born on December 16, 1936, in Mt. Pleasant, IA. He was the son of Wayne and Mae (Hoyne) Peterson. He graduated from Olds High School, in 1954 and went on to attend Iowa Wesleyan College where he graduated in 1958. He received his Master’s Degree from the University of Iowa in 1967. Richard also served in the United States Army from 1960-1966. On June 7, 1964, he was united in marriage to Marjory J. Anderson of Winfield.
Richard spent his life in the world of education where he coached football, track, basketball, baseball and taught history and PE in Keokuk and Winfield. Soon after receiving his Masters in counseling he spent the remaining 26 years of his teaching career as a Coach and Guidance Counselor at Columbus Community Schools. Coach “Pete” started the Cross Country program in CJ in 1971 where he remained the head coach until his retirement in 1996. He was also the distance, jumping and hurdling coach for the Columbus Track program for many years. He had a unique way of making his many athletes believe they were having a great time, even while running. His students can attest that one of his many contributions as an educator was his quirky sense of humor and how he loved to not only laugh at himself but make others laugh with him.
Richard's other passion was for the outdoors, which he passed on to his two sons. He spent countless hours afield studying animal behavior and taking pictures. This passion turned into a second career as an outdoor writer and photographer. He had hundreds of articles and pictures published in countless papers and magazines. He was very proud of this work and loved to share his knowledge with anyone who would listen. It was a very common occurrence for Pete to get a phone call from a friend wanting him to accompany them on a hunting trip to take pictures or to identify an otherwise unknown “creature.”
Richard enjoyed visiting the Colonial Manner of Columbus Junction where he used his unique blend of humor and knowledge to entertain the residents and workers alike. He was also an accomplished vocalist, singing for years in the River Junction Barbershop Quartet in various venues around the area. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Columbus Junction, Phi Delta Theta at Iowa Wesleyan, Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.
Richards greatest love was his family. He greatly enjoyed the holidays with his kids and grandchildren and made it a point to attend many of their sporting events, as well countless dance recitals. He loved to put his own spin on many nursery rhymes and share them with his family. His grandkids would mention that when they shared these rhymes with their friends, and they were amazed to find out that other kids did not know these “versions.”
Richard is survived by his wife, Marjory of Columbus Junction, his three children, Mike (Michele) Peterson of Mt. Pleasant, Steve (LaJeana) Peterson of Paris, MO, Julie (Jeff) Gilmore of Mt. Pleasant: 7 grandchildren, Kailey and Konnor Peterson, Jenna and Josie Gilmore, Sydney, Sommer, and Makenzie Peterson: brothers Warren (Barb) Peterson of Dubuque, Donald Peterson of Ottumwa, and Robert (Georgette) Peterson of Knoxville, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Dorothy Lauer and a sister in infancy.
Those considering an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the Louisa County Ambulance Service or the Columbus Community Track and Cross Country programs.
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