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Erik Peterson, teaching assistant and graduate student at FSU, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this past week.
Beloved husband of Alisa Persons and father of Evan Peterson, everyone knew Erik as a brilliant and charming person with an acerbic wit. He loved nature and science, teaching and inspiring his students. He had the proverbial magnetic personality that could brighten the room.
But, privately, he endured a long-standing struggle with depression and he has now found the peace and rest that so eluded him in Life.
Erik was born in Idaho in 1971, but was raised in Northern Minnesota by his adoptive parents. He could read at the age of two and, among his favorite genres, were science-fiction and Russian literature. By high school, he was invited to participate in an international science fair. He completed a BA at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, and then came to Florida State to begin graduate studies while teaching
classes in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department. He
looked forward to completing his Master's to become a professional college instructor.
Sadly, it seems true that the candle that burns twice as brightly burns half as long.
In addition to Alisa and Evan, Erik leaves to cherish his memory and be heartbroken at his loss, his adoptive parents, Dennis and Audrey Peterson, his sister Fran and brother-in-law Brad Carls, nieces Alexandra and Ashley Carls and his brother Robb and sister-in-law Tina Peterson, nieces Maggie and Sophia Peterson, grandmother Tyne Meadows --all of Minnesota.He also leaves his biological mother Sandy (husband Dave) Rasmussen and brother Chris (wife Kerie) Tarter and grandmother Loa Jean Barden of Idaho. Additionally, he leaves many friends who will warmly tell stories of his escapades long into the future.
Memorial services are scheduled in Florida and Minnesota.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Dec. 9, 2012