Blank Blank Blank
Blank Blank Blank


8 entries | 1 photo
The Guest Book is expired.

FRANK W. PETERSON, 88, of Fort Wayne, and former longtime resident of Iron Mountain, Mich., went home to the loving arms of God on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at The Hearth at Sycamore Village in Fort Wayne. He was born Dec. 8, 1924 the son of Marguerite and Rudolph Peterson in Demmon, Mich. The family soon moved to Iron Mountain, Mich. where Frank resided most of his life. He attended Iron Mountain schools and was given an early graduation in his senior year to enable him to enlist in the Army Air Corps in World War II. While in the Air Corps, he earned the rank of Staff Sargent and served as an Aerial Engineer Gunner, flying 37 missions on B-17 and B-24 aircraft. His plane and crew were shot down behind enemy lines over Poland on Dec. 18, 1944, parachuting just over the Russian line. He was reported missing in action for more than 30 days and was awarded a Purple Heart for his service. He was Honorably discharged on Aug. 25, 1945. On Oct. 31, 1948, Frank met his love, Mary Stridde at a Halloween party at the Pine Mountain Lodge in Iron Mountain. They were married the following June 24, 1949 and resided in Marquette, while Frank earned his BA in Business on the GI Bill. Later, they lived in Quinnesec, Mich. for seven years before moving to Iron Mountain, where they resided on West "B" St. for many years, and were well known for their incredible garden and hospitable home. Together, Frank and Mary owned and operated The Women's Fashion Shop in Iron Mountain. Later, he worked for the State of Michigan Dept. of Social Services for many years, until his retirement. As a retirement job, he drove the Dickinson County Library bookmobile and became well-known to children throughout the county as he drove through neighborhoods with the special musical horn he installed to let them know he was nearby. The Bookmobile and musical horn were a favorite in many area holiday parades. He was a member of the Golden K and was an avid golfer and bowler; often taking quiet pride in outscoring far younger competitors. Following the death of their beloved son, Parnell, of AIDS, Frank and Mary started a PFLAG support group in Iron Mountain and also helped to found an AIDS support group for HIV- infected patients and their families and loved ones; which was attended by people from across the UP and Northern Wisconsin. Frank was a man of deep faith and an active member of Trinity United Methodist in Iron Mountain, where he was a Sunday School teacher for many years. Later he and his wife found a church home at Aldersgate United Methodist in Fort Wayne, where they were also active as Stephen Ministers. "Frank was a kind, gentle and gregarious man with a great sense of humor and a handshake not to be forgotten. He was much loved by many - family, friends and caregivers alike - and he is greatly missed already." Surviving are his son, Frank J. (Sally) Peterson of Fort Wayne; daughters, Margaret (William Barry) Wasson of Lake in the Hills, Ill., and Elizabeth (Craig) Dewey of Pueblo West, Colo.; grandsons, Ben Peterson of Houston, Texas, Kyle Dewey of Pueblo West, Colo., and Matt Voell of Milwaukee, Wis.; granddaughter, Katie Peterson of Pumpkintown, N.C.; sisters, Dorothy Manko of Iron Mountain, Mich., Marguerite Reiten of Kingsford, Mich. and Carmen Swanson of Kingsford, Mich.; and many, many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Stridde Peterson; son, Parnell McKenna Peterson; parents, Marguerite and Rudolph Peterson; sisters, Charlotte Johnson Mason, Dee LaRoux, and Jean Conte. Memorial Service is 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, 2013 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 2417 Getz Road with calling two hours prior. Dr. Derek Weber officiating. A Hometown Memorial Service will be held in Iron Mountain later in the summer. Memorials may be made to the or to the Wounded Warriors Project. To sign the online guest book, please go to

Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on May 28, 2013
bullet Army bullet Purple Heart bullet WWII
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.