William F. PetersonJuly 04,2012
William F. Peterson
BARRE — William Francis “Pete” Peterson died at the age of 92 on June 29, 2012, at the Respite House in Williston, with his daughters by his side.
Pete was born April 4, 1920, in Watertown, Mass. His parents were Arthur Oscar Peterson and Alma Elizabeth Birmingham. Pete attended local schools and joined the Navy at the age of 17. He trained in Rhode Island and was accepted to a hospital corps school in San Diego. He served aboard the USS Ranger CB4 as the ship’s pharmacist and a medical corpsman.
Pete was introduced to his future wife, Paquina “Pat” Toraya, by his fellow shipmate and friend, Mateas Toraya. Pete and Pat were married in 1942. They honeymooned in Boston and a week later Pete shipped out. For the next three years they saw one another infrequently. During this time Pat lived with her parents. When Pete was discharged from the Navy he worked at the local granite shed and then started work at the Barre post office.
Pete and Pat bought a house on Richardson Road in Barre. After their first daughter, Linda, was born, Pete was called back into the service for the Korean War. A few years after that Pete helped Pat’s sister Rose and her husband, Lionel “Frenchie” Willett, build their house next door. The two each raised two daughters and had many happy years together. After their daughters left home for college, the two couples took several bus trips, went out to eat and took daily walks together. They were a great support to each other.
When Pete retired from the post office he took a job as a parts manager at a local auto dealership. After completely retiring, Pete took up woodworking. He was a self-taught woodworker and over the years made several beautiful pieces of furniture for family members. The couple took several trips to Europe and took their daughters on a trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
When Pat’s health began to decline they sold their house and moved in with their daughter Linda and her husband, Bryce, in Colchester. After Pat died, Pete decided he would like to live where there were more people his own age and moved into the Converse Home in Burlington. He was well cared for there. His family would like to send a special thanks to Asima Hebib, his LNA, who took a special liking to Pete and took excellent care of him. When Pete’s medical conditions worsened he was moved to the Respite House in Williston and lived there for two weeks before his death. There also, the staff were very sensitive, loving and made his last days very comfortable.
His doctor, Karen Sokol, was a real source of support to Pete and his family during the time he was at the Converse Home and the Respite House, and his family appreciates her excellent care of him. A special thank you to Dr. Sokol’s daughter, Sabine, who was his “computer buddy” and visited him regularly.
Pete leaves behind his daughters, Linda and her husband, Bryce Howells, and Patti and her husband, David Warman. His four granddaughters and two great-grandchildren were the light of his life. He was very proud of his granddaughters’ accomplishments and always remarked on how lucky he was to have them. They are Heidi and husband Turk Johnson, and their children Pete and Willa, also granddaughters Gretchen VanWormer and Emily and Kara Warman. He also leaves behind his sister-in-law, Rose Willett, and nieces Gloria Boucher and Mary Jane Knapp and their families, of Burlington; Cindi Cochran, of Montana; Carol Fallin, Cecilia Donofrio and nephew Raymond Toraya, of Florida.
Anyone wishing to make a contribution in his memory may do so to the Respite House in Williston where he spent his last days lovingly cared for.
A special remembrance service is planned by the family at the home of his daughter Linda at a later time.
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