Richard Wayne Peterson, 76, of Idaho Falls, passed away Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at Parkwood Meadows Assisted Living. He had been under the care of Avalon Home Health Services and Hearts for Hospice.
He was born Sept. 10, 1936, in Denver to Marion Arthur Peterson and Marie Pauline Ludeman Peterson. Rich grew up in Idaho Falls and in 1954, he graduated from Idaho Falls High School.
He attended the University of Idaho and in 1959, he earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Rich worked for General Electric. He attended Cornell University, where he earned his master's degree in business administration. He moved to Los Angeles in 1965 and worked at IBM. In 1996, he earned a certificate from the University of California at Riverside in geographic information systems.
On June 8, 1963, Rich married Genevieve Eva Leach, in Schenectady, N.Y. This year, they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
In 1969, the family moved to Littleton, Colo., and Rich worked at Martin Marietta; and in 1987, they moved to Redlands, Calif. Rich worked at General Dynamics and then at Computer Sciences Corporation as a system analyst. In 1997, he changed careers to become a GIS Analyst at San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District until his retirement in August 2007.
In Redlands, he was a deacon at Bethany Reformed Church. In 2005, he went on a mission to Morocco to help build a playground for a local orphanage. He also made several trips to Mexico to help build houses with the other members of his church in Redlands. While living in Idaho Falls, he attended Christ Community Church. Attending church and Bible study were important to him.
Rich became a Master Naturalist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He volunteered as a docent at both the Museum of Idaho and Tautphaus Park Zoo since moving to Idaho Falls in September 2007.
He enjoyed all kinds of outdoor activities, especially hiking, camping, backpacking, skiing and biking. Rich loved to read any book that was nonfiction.
Richard was a true family man. He and his wife, Gen, felt that it was important to instill the love of the outdoors in their family's lives.
He is survived by his wife, Genevieve Peterson of Idaho Falls; son, Michael (Debbie) Peterson of Stockton, Calif.; daughter, Marcia Peterson of Foster City, Calif.; sister, Janet (Tom) Lewis of Idaho Falls; and brother, Thomas Peterson of Fort Collins, Colo.
Rich was preceded in death by his parents.
Private memorial services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Coltrin Mortuary, 2100 First St. in Idaho Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.coltrinmortuary.com.