American Veteran 01

Ronald L Petersen

July 15, 1937 ~ May 18, 2022 (age 84)


Ron was one of the most driven, single-minded people on earth.  He was a proud American who spent a lifetime serving this country and never wavered in his love and belief in the American dream.


He grew up in Garfield and Magna, Utah where he developed friendships that lasted throughout his life.  He was part of the famous Drum and Bugle Corp that took high honors in national competition.  His lifelong love and obsession with trains, planes, and pigeons started when he was a young boy and spent hours building models that hung all over his bedroom ceiling.  He spent untold hours tending to his beloved pigeons in coops that he built with his dad.


Upon graduating from Cyprus High School in 1956, there was no question that Ron was headed for a military career.  Beginning at Northrop Grumman, then on to the Air Force where he spent part of his career, serving as a navigator on KC-135 refuelling tankers all around the world, including two tours of duty during the Viet Nam Conflict.  He continued as an Air Force officer serving in many assignments with increasing responsibility, including as Air Field Manager at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Wa.


He settled and retired in Spokane, Wa., where he made lasting friendships at Fairchild AFB.  He was an avid tennis player, playing several times a week well into his 80´s.


His love of trains continued which claimed a large portion of his basement, where he painstakingly built trains, buildings, bridges, sculpted mountains, painted scenery, and built tunnels that connected rooms.  He regularly hosted operations meetings with other railroaders, assigning tasks complete with time schedules, and assigned pickups and drop-offs.  He collected soil, gravel, rock, and twigs to be fashioned into trees and scenery.  A trip to see his railroad in operation was a memorable experience for so many.


Ron is survived by his wife, Rosemary Petersen; sons Scott (Val), Tooele, Utah; Mike (Viktoria), Dayton, Ohio; Jeff, Maricopa, Arizona; stepson Neil (Laura), Dallas, TX, as well as four grandchildren.  He also leaves behind a sister, Gae Wagstaff, Bergen, Norway.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Russ and Ada Petersen; a brother, Dennis Petersen and a sister, Linda Spencer. A military burial to honor Ron will take place Thursday June 9th at 9:45am at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery located at 21702 W Espanola Rd in Medical Lake, Washington.


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Washington State Veterans Cemetery
21702 West Espanola Road
Medical Lake, WA 99022

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