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Peter Magnuson

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Peter V. Magnuson

Florence, MT —Peter V. Magnuson, 96, of Florence passed away at home in the presence of his family and his wife of 69 years on Monday, June 30, 2014.

Peter was born March 21, 1918 in Geraldine Montana to Lena and Harold Magnuson. He attended school at Geraldine, graduating in 1936. He then went to college for 2 years in Bellingham Washington, and later enrolled in radio school in Texas.

He enlisted in the United States Army in 1940 at Fort Missoula Montana and soon made the rank of Corporal. During his military career Peter specialized in diesel mechanics, achieved marksman status, earned the American Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Service Medal.

Stationed first at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and later on Adak Island in the Aleutians, Peter witnessed the Japanese air attack on Dutch Harbor that occurred on June 4, 1942, six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

In 1944, Peter returned to Montana and married Joyce Knox on December 23, 1944. He was honorably discharged from military service in 1945. Shortly thereafter, the couple owned/operated a small dairy farm near Great Falls, Montana. During this time three daughters were born to them; Susan, Sandra, and Sara. Later the family moved to Geraldine where Peter was employed by the First National Bank of Geraldine. He and Joyce also established the well-known "Pete's Photos" photography studio that they operated until Pete's retirement in 1988; at which time they moved to Sheridan, Montana, then later to Florence to be near their family.

Among his many interests, Peter's favorite hobbies were woodworking, photography, and sharing a good laugh; in his last years he enjoyed "texting".

Peter was preceded in death by his parents Lena (Denny) Magnuson and Harold M. Magnuson, and is survived by his wife, Joyce (Knox) Magnuson, sister Mary (Magnuson) Gemmel of Helena, Montana, daughters Susan (Larry) Little of Geraldine, Sandra (Ted) Meinzen of Lolo, Montana, Sara (Vic) Sieglock of Havre, Montana, 12 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.

The family sends a special thank you to Aspen Hospice for their wonderful care and compassion. They also express the same heartfelt thanks to Peter's in-home caregivers for their diligence and "going the extra mile" no matter what; and Doctor Laura Shelton and staff at the Florence Family Clinic for all their help and kindness through the last years.

Memorials should be sent to Aspen Hospice of Montana, 107 Bell Crossing West, Stevensville, MT 59870

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Published in Great Falls Tribune on July 9, 2014
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