Kenneth Alfred Peterson - age: 95
(July 15, 1918 to October 10, 2013
Kenneth Alfred Peterson July 15, 1918 to October 10, 2013 --- Ken was born in Marshfield, Oregon to Swedish immigrants Hilma Larsson Peterson and Erland Anselm Peterson. Upon his father’s early death, Ken left high school and ran the family farm. When his mother developed cancer while he was in the service, he sold his cigarette rations and, according to his sister, “sent every penny home.”
Ken, called “Pete” by many of his friends, was a WWII veteran and Iwo Jima survivor. He served bravely in the Marine’s 5th division, 28th regiment, 3rd battalion and participated in the historic beach storming at the base of Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi.
The eternal optimist, Ken always referred to himself as “the luckiest man in the world.” While seeking refuge in a fox hole on Iwo Jima a grenade landed between his legs. It didn’t go off. After suffering a severe stroke at age 90, he won the hearts of his caregivers with his constant smile and positive attitude. Despite his medical circumstances, he liked to remind others that, “every day is a beautiful day.”
Ken’s sister would often say of him, “He would give a stranger the shirt off his back in a snow storm.” This was not meant as a compliment, but was innocently taken as such.
Ken is survived by his three loving daughters and six grandchildren: Cheryl (Peterson) Stransky of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho and her children Erin (Stransky) Quintia of Columbia Falls, MT and Conor Stransky of NYC, NY; Adel (Peterson) Clark and husband Ken Clark of Redwood Valley, CA and their children Katie Clark of Ukiah, CA, and Bob Clark of Plainview, TX; and Patty (Peterson) Mede and husband Matt Mede of Santa Rosa, CA and their children Wilhelm Mede of San Diego, CA and Annmarie Mede of Nashville, TN; their mother, Anna Peterson of Ukiah, CA; and his sister, Eunice Peterson of Healdsburg, CA.
Ken passed away due to complications from a stroke at the ripe age of 95. A memorial service will be held at Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah, CA on Saturday, October 19 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to North County Hospice in Healdsburg, CA.