David R. Peterson, 97, of Fredonia, NY, formerly of Massena, NY, passed away on September 1, 2020. He was born in Bertrand, Nebraska, on March 27, 1923, the son of the late David T. and Amanda Peterson.
David’s family moved from Bertrand to New York State in 1930, and subsequently moved to Stamford, NY, where he grew up and graduated from Stamford Central High School. He volunteered and served 6 years in the US Navy, flying submarine patrol in a B-24 during WWII. Upon completion of his military service, David married Janet Van Dusen on September 4, 1948. He entered Clarkson College under the GI Bill and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He retired from the New York Power Authority at the Robert Moses Power Dam in Massena in 1985. David also provided private land surveying services, with his children later serving as his surveying crew.
David was active in the Boy Scouts of America, serving as leader of Troop 32 sponsored by the Emanuel Congregational Church in Massena, for many years. He was a member of the Order of the Arrow, was awarded the high honor of the Silver Beaver, served for many years on the Executive Council in St. Lawrence County, was awarded the Wood Badge for completion of leadership training, and taught Wood Badge Scouting leadership training groups. He traveled many times to Boy Scout camp gatherings during all seasons, and made one memorable trip to the National Jamboree in Idaho. He inspired many young scouts to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
His love of camping led him to take his family on many memorable tent camping vacations from Nova Scotia to Arizona.
David was a member of the Emmanuel Congregational Church, now United Church of Christ in Massena, served as a Trustee for a number of years, taught Sunday School, and sang in the church choir. He also served as a member of the Planning Board for the Town of Louisville for many years.
David was predeceased by his parents, brothers Stanley and Clifford Peterson, and sisters June Millward, Frances Moshier, and Beverly Blaine.
David is survived by his wife of almost 72 years, Janet, of Fredonia; children: Jill (Richard) Robinson, Clay, NY; Karen (Alan “Skip”) Gould, Forestville, NY; Eric (Kathi) Peterson, Robesonia, PA; Scott (Nancy) Peterson, East Amherst, NY; and Lisa Peterson (Siza Ntshakala), Eswatini, Africa; 11 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren; sister, Beulah “Billie” (William) Stevens; sister-in-law Gloria Peterson, brother-in-law Matthew Blaine; and many nieces and nephews.
Services and remembrance will be held at the convenience of the family.