Harold W. "Pete" Peterson, Jr.
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AGE: 93 • West Belmar
Harold W. "Pete" Peterson, Jr., 93, of West Belmar, passed away on Thursday at CareOne in Wall. Pete was born in Fair Haven. He married Grace McGirr of Rumson in 1944 in Annapolis, Maryland where he worked prior to joining the Navy. A World War II Navy Veteran, he served on the USS Oyster Bay, a PT boat tender in the South Pacific, a service of which he was extremely proud. After the war, Pete returned to the Jersey Shore in 1953 and built his own home on L Street in West Belmar where he and Grace raised two children and lived the remainder of his long, active life. He was a master boat builder. He apprenticed under his father at Peterson and Son Boat Builders in West Belmar. Pete spent 41 years of his career at Johnson Brothers Boat Works in Point Pleasant where he built and repaired mainly luxury yachts rising to Master Builder.
After retiring in 1987, he turned his love of boat building to model sailboats, resurrecting the local chapter of The Marbleheaders Model Yacht Club and refining the design of a five foot "double-ender" sailboat developed by his father. Over the subsequent twenty five years, Pete grew the club to over thirty members sailing model boats mostly on Spring Lake. He built most of the boats at his home workshop. The Club grew quickly after he developed a remote control system enabling sailors to race the boats from the shore. All together, he built over 80 model boats, including a three-foot class "for the ladies". He also built the four Durham canoes that are used each year to reenact General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware. Pete was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Bradley Beach and Belmar, a former member of the West Belmar United Methodist Church and the Methodist Men's Club. He was a member of the Pride of Wall Senior Citizen's Club and a past President of the Wall Township Lion's Club.
Pete is survived by his wife of sixty nine years, Grace; one son, Vernon Peterson and his wife, Doris of West Springfield, Mass; a daughter, Joyce LaSala and her husband, John of Wilmington, NC; one brother, Louis of Oklahoma; a sister, Mabel Shauger of Howell Township and two grandchildren, John LaSala, Jr. and Jeff LaSala.
Friends and relatives are invited to attend his 11:00 AM funeral service on Monday, June 24, 2013 at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township. Interment will follow at Fair View Cemetery, Middletown. Visiting at the funeral home on Sunday, June 23, 2013 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Pete's memory to PT Boats, Inc., PO Box 38070, Germantown, TN 38183 would be appreciated. For information, directions and condolence messages to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com
Published in Asbury Park Press on June 22, 2013