BEAVERTON, ORE. Elmer L. "Pete" Peterson, 92, of Beaverton, Ore., died of natural causes Wednesday, Dec. 19, in an Oregon hospital.
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His celebration of life is 11 a.m. Saturday at Young's Funeral Home in Tigard, Ore. A private ceremony will be held with full military honors in Willamette National Cemetery, Ore. Young's Funeral Home handled arrangements.
Pete was born in Butte, graduating from Butte High School in 1939. He attended business college in Butte and began working for Personal Finance and Credit Company and ultimately managed it before joining the service in 1942. Pete was a veteran of the Army Air Force during World War II, serving briefly with the 92nd Bomb Group in Alconbury, England. He transferred to the famed "Hell's Angels" 303rd Bomb Group, 360th Bomb Squadron, where he flew 28 missions in B-17G's out of Molesworth, England. His service spanned from September 1942 to October 1945. He was a waist gunner, bombardier and a bomb sight instructor after he served his combat duty. For his service, Pete was awarded the E.M.A.E Theatre ribbon w/2 bronze stars, 1 Overseas Service Bar, 1 Service Stripe, the Air Medal w/3 bronze oak clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Stateside in 1944, he married Mae Rose Hubert, whom he had known at Butte High. They had three daughters, Kathe, Susan and Diane all born in Montana. Pete partnered in a doughnut shop and restaurant in Missoula before moving to Great Falls to work at Oil Exploratory Systems. In 1965, he went to work for the U.S. Treasury Department and eventually transferred to Portland in 1972. He excelled in his career expanding U.S. Savings Bonds in Oregon, receiving many awards and retired in 1983. Pete and Mae enjoyed 63 years of marriage, returning to Butte for many high school reunions before Mae's passing in 2008.Pete is survived by two daughters, Susan Bond and her husband, Dan of Tigard and their children, Jennifer and Rachel; and Diane Carter and her husband, Chris of West Linn, Ore., and their children, Logan and Braeden.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Kathe in 2011.
Pete will be remembered for his enthusiasm for life, being lighthearted, always with a smile on his face and kind words of appreciation. All who knew him will remember a joke he shared that kept them laughing. He had a sharp mind and was always ready with a story to tell. Pete was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America or the veterans organization of your choice.
Condolences may be posted online at www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 20, 2013