Gene B. Peterson, 87, was born May 10, 1926, at the old family farmhouse, to Ben and Gladys Peterson. He entered this world weighing 12 lbs. 6 oz. and lived his entire life on the family farm, which was established in the late 1800's. Having suffered from leukemia, Gene left this earth to go to his heavenly home on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at 4:40 p.m.|
Gene, and his 3 sisters, Venda Ball (deceased), Verda Wilkins (Fort Collins) and Betty Anne Painter (Fort Collins), worked hard on the farm and attended a one-room schoolhouse at Union. Gene graduated from Hillrose High School in 1945 with a class of 9. He continued his education at Colorado A & M (i.e. Aggies, now CSU) in Fort Collins where he excelled in academics and Cross Country Track. He trapped muskrats in frigid, cold winters and sold the furs to pay for his education.
Gene's first sight of Bettie Hutchinson convinced him, she would one day be his beautiful bride. They married on August 24, 1952. During the next 10 years they would receive 4 gifts, the birth of their children. Shortly after their marriage, Gene would search for answers to the real meaning of life and would pray to God to show him if He indeed was real. Two days after praying, he heard a preacher on the radio that helped him understand, know and experience the grace of God in a personal relationship with Christ. This changed everything for their little family and his lifelong passion for farming now included serving his Heavenly Father and to actively share this good news with others.
Gene and Bettie began hosting Bible studies in their home which led to the establishment of Snyder Bible Church. They would be youth leaders for 25 years and later go on to help start other works including: Riverview Christian School, Hillrose Community Church, Brush Cowboy Church and the Wildwood Bible Church in Merino. Gene became an Ambassador in getting out the message of God's grace to many. He never wanted any acknowledgment or praise but wanted only for people to see Christ in all that was done in order to bring praise and glory to Jesus. All of these ministries still exist to this day and many, many have found Jesus to be their Savior. As he now enjoys his time at the feet of Jesus, he may understand the ripple effect that has taken place because of his obedience to his Lord as he shared the good news of grace.
The Peterson family later included Indian Meadows Inc., and a dairy. Gene created a wonderful lodge and worked endless hours on his backhoe (his favorite thing), creating beautiful wetlands that would be invaluable to the members of the Hunting and Fish Club. He was truly a creative, visionary man that loved to dream up projects and inventions. Even until his death he was writing out new plans to further develop the projects he'd already completed. He was on numerous committees and boards throughout his life as well as serving a term as Colorado Wildlife Commissioner.
In running his "last lap," Gene sought out friends, family, and mere acquaintances with phone calls, visits or letters to tell them he loved them and to encourage them to know and love Jesus. Until his death, with never a complaint or concern for himself, Gene wanted nothing more than to tell people of God's love for them and how they could live with Him eternally. How wonderful it is to know that he now resides in his real home for ever at the feet of Jesus. He will be sorely missed and we have lost an amazing man of God, husband, father, and friend.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Bettie; his children, Kristy, and her husband, Al Tindle, of Depoe Bay, OR, Robin, and her husband, Mike James, of Snyder, Benny, and his wife, Pam, of Snyder, and Russell, and his wife, Wendy, of Highlands Ranch, CO; 24 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and his 2 sisters. He was preceded in death by 1 granddaughter, 1 sister, and his parents.
A funeral service will be held Saturday, November 16, 2013, at the Snyder Bible Church in Snyder at 10:30 a.m. The service will conclude at the church. Gene requested that all who wish may make memorial gifts to the Riverview Christian School, c/o Heer Mortuary, 222 Cameron Street, Brush, CO 80723.
Published in The Fort Morgan Times on Nov. 12, 2013