This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.
With great sadness the family of Paul “Pete” J. Peterson, Jr, 87, announces his passing on May 14th at Briarcliffe Gardens, Johnston, RI, where he received compassionate care. Pete was the son of the late Ethel (Berquist) Peterson and Paul J. Peterson. Originally from Worcester, MA, he earned an engineering degree from Norwich University, also contributing his athletic talents to capture trophies for Theta Chi. While serving in the Army at Fort Belvoir, Pete married the love of his life, Betsy. The charming couple relocated to Barrington, RI in 1960, where they raised four children. Pete was part of a group that founded the Raytheon Submarine Signal Division in nearby Portsmouth where he worked 37 years until his retirement.
Pete shared his love of sports with his family, including ski trips, backyard ball, and cheering on Boston teams and their stars (Ted Williams, Larry Bird, Tom Brady). He coached the Barrington Little League All Stars to their first State Championship in 1975. After his retirement, Pete and Betsy split their time between homes in Vermont and Georgia, enjoying travel, visits with family and friends, and playing golf.
Upon Betsy’s death in 2010, after 56 years of marriage, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and moved back to RI to live with family. Pete coped with the difficulties of Alzheimer’s with humor and congeniality. He loved dogs and everything chocolate.
Pete is survived by his daughters Lisa Peterson Chew (Richard) of Tiverton, RI; Lara J. Peterson (Jim) of Waitsfield, VT; son Paul D. Peterson (Mindy) of Malibu, CA; and daughter-in-law Linda Peterson of Narragansett, RI, as well as five grandchildren: Andy Chew, Eric Peterson, Bridget Peterson, Sofi Peterson and Lars Peterson. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Peterson, his sister Beverly A. Provencher, and his son, John E. Peterson.
A private memorial and burial will be held at a later date.
Memorial donations may be be sent to The Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI (potterleague.org) or to your favorite sports program.
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