Former La Plata County resident Paul William Peterson died Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in Bloomfield, N.M. He was one month shy of his 92nd birthday.
Mr. Peterson was born to John Victor and Goldie Peterson on Sept. 7, 1920, in Pagosa Springs. He was one of six children. He graduated from eighth grade in Pagosa Springs before going to work during the Depression.
During World War II, he served as a paratrooper, jumping into many battles, including D-Day on Normandy Beach in France.
On June 1, 1946, he married Mary Margaret “Margy” Grimes in Pagosa Springs.
Mr. Peterson was a former resident of Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio and Pagosa Springs. He enjoyed being a rancher and a ranch foreman for all of his working life and was one of the last “real cowboys,” his family said. He worked on several ranches in the area, including for the Cugninis and Ludwigs and above Vallecito Reservoir.
Until about three years ago, he worked at the sale barns in Breen, Aztec and Kirtland, N.M.
Mr. Peterson was a member of Disabled Veterans of America. He enjoyed hunting and fishing.
“His family as well as many other Americans thank him for keeping us free and safe,” his family said. “His patriotism and love of family and friends will be greatly missed.”
Mr. Peterson was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Mary Margaret Peterson; and son Dean Peterson.
He is survived by his son Dale Peterson of Bloomfield; brother Jack Peterson of Wickenburg, Ariz.; five grandchildren; one great-grandson; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.
A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at Bloomfield First Baptist Church Chapel, 200 W. Sycamore Ave. The Rev. Lamar Morin will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Guardian Angels Home Health and Hospice, 4801 N. Butler Ave., Suite 2000, Farmington, NM 87401.