David A. Peterson, PhD, died on October 4, 2012 at the age of 75 from complications related to Parkinson's Disease. He passed with his family beside him in Alhambra, California. He is survived by his wife, Ellen M. Peterson; his two children, Kimberly Nason with husband Douglas Nason, and Scott David Peterson with wife Cynthia Valenzuela; his grandchildren Samantha, Joshua, Ciena, and David; and his brother, Carl.

David was born in Vicksburg, Michigan, July 26, 1937 to Edward and Pauline Peterson. David graduated from Allegan High School in Michigan. He received a BA from Albion College, an MA from Western Michigan University, and a PhD from the University of Michigan.

His career began as a high school history teacher. After receiving his doctorate, he served as Director of Training Programs at the Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan. He was founding Director of the Gerontology Program for the University of Nebraska; a Professor and the Director of the Davis School of Gerontology, and Associate Dean of USC's Andrus Gerontology Center. He retired from the Andrus Gerontology Center in 2003, due to advancing Parkinson's Disease.

He is recognized as a scholar who guided the development of gerontology programs in colleges throughout the United States, Spain, Taiwan, and Japan. He wrote the foundational book in gerontology education as well as many other books and professional journal articles.

Among his many accolades were: first holder of the Ruth & Edward Polusky Gerontology & Education Chair in the Davis School of Gerontology at USC., induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, the American Society on Aging's Gloria Cavanaugh Award for excellence in training & education, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education's Clark Tibbitts Award for significant contribution to the advancement of gerontology. National awards are also given in his honor each year to other gerontologists.

With all of his accomplishments, Dr. Peterson would say that his loving family was his greatest reward and helping to bring an understanding of and appreciation for the field of gerontology his highest public service. He was very generous with his time, going out of his way to help his co-workers, his students, and his family, even venturing abroad for missionary work camps. He was a calm, quiet, intelligent man with a disarming sense of humor. He will truly be missed.

Those wishing to make memorial gifts are encouraged to choose one of the following: The David A. Peterson Scholarship or the David A. Peterson Fellowship in Aging at the Davis School of Gerontology, USC, or the David A. Peterson Memorial Fund for Adult Education at the Pasadena First United Methodist Church.

Memorial Services will be held at the Pasadena First United Methodist Church, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Saturday, October 27, at 11:00 A.M.

Published in Pasadena Star-News on Oct. 21, 2012