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Robert Darden "Pete" Peterson

1923 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Robert Darden "Pete" Peterson Obituary
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Darden "Pete" Peterson of Fort Worth passed away peacefully at home Sunday, March 2, 2014, at age 90. Funeral: 10 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, Ark. Visitation: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro. Pete was born in Jonesboro on Oct. 20, 1923, to the late Emma Brooks and Edgar Allen Peterson. During World War II, he trained as a B-17 pilot and became an aircraft commander at age 20, completing 28 combat missions. He served through the Korean and Vietnam wars in the Directorate of Combat Operations. He commanded 19 combat missions in Vietnam. As a part of his service, he was trusted as few are, being one of the first to pilot atomic weapons. Col. Peterson served at the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired as deputy base commander at Dyess Air Force Base. A highly decorated officer, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Bronze Star and others. He was a hero to his family and to America. Col. Peterson was a member of the Baptist church who would witness to his beliefs by signing his letters and cards to loved ones with the affirmation "Jesus is the way." Pete was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Lillian Louise Jones; his beloved granddaughter, Michelle Gignilliat Harvey; and brothers, Edgar Allen Peterson III and James Brooks Peterson. Survivors: His second wife of 19 years, Wanda Jennings; his children, Roberta ter Kuile, Patricia Campbell, Nancy Rains, Robert Peterson Jr.; Lillian Downs, Helen Downey and Margaret Gignilliat; stepchildren, Mike Cooke and Janice Jennings; 15 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Published in Star-Telegram on Mar. 5, 2014
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