Curtis Lee Peterson
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PETERSON, CURTIS LEE, was born March 16, 1965, In Springfield, Missouri, the cherished son of Jesse and Vallee Peterson. He departed this life February 18, 2005 in Miami, Florida, leaving behind is beloved wife Karen; daughter, Sydney, and their child to be born in August. After graduating from Evangel University in Missouri and completing his teaching credentials through the University of Texas in Tyler, Curtis moved to Miami to pursue his teaching career. He taught for over 9 years at Ransom Everglades in Coral Gables, Florida. As a history teacher he was known as the tough teacher with a big heart. His students never knew who would be leading their class - a Seminole Indian fighter, a revolutionary war soldier or a Confederate Officer. Mr. Peterson cared deeply for the students he taught and the athletes he coached with such enthusiasm. He held his colleagues at Ransom in the highest regard and appreciated their friendship and professionalism. Curtis Peterson leaves behind his wife, Karen; daughter, Sydney; and their child to be born in August; his parents: Jesse and Vallee Peterson; his grandparents: Laurence and Rachel Peterson; his sisters: Candace Wicke and family, Connie Venable and family, and Cynthia Allen and family. He also leaves behind a myriad of friends and students in Miami who deeply enriched his life. A memorial service celebrating Curtis Peterson's life will be held Monday, February 21 at 1 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 12455 sw 104th St., Miami, Florida. Funeral and burial will be in Tyler, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Curt Peterson Memorial Fund c/o Rose Heights Church, 2120 Old Omen Rd, Tyler, TX 75701 for the education of his children. To visit this Guest Book Online, go to

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Published in the Miami Herald on Feb. 20, 2005.
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56 entries
February 2, 2020
Hard to believe it has been almost 15 years since we lost you, dear friend. My thoughts keep returning to you today, 02/02/2020. I hope you have the best seat in the house from Heaven to watch your Chiefs take on the 49ers in Super Bowl 54. Miss you always, buddy!
Jim Balducki
May 26, 2011
It has been 6 years since Curt left us. Six years that I have still thought of him every day, and five and a half years that I am so grateful that I can see some of his expressions, his mannerisms, and his quirks in the daughter he never got to know.

There will always be a part of me that belongs to Curt, part that wonders what he would think about something or how he would handle a situation I may be facing in my own class. But no matter how hard we may wish it would, time does not stop. The world does not stop. And life does not stop. I remarried in 2010 a man who told me he never wants me to have to choose between my love for Curt and my love for him. He encourages me to keep the pictures of my time with Curt, urges me to tell stories so he may know Curt better, and he (Michael) feels blessed to have been taken in and accepted by Curt's own family.

I was moved to tears yet again by this guestbook and the knowledge that it is being continued by the students whose lives Curt touched. And I know that a part of him will always live on in each person who was given the incredible gift of knowing him.

Thank you from his wife,
Karen Peterson Beck
May 9, 2011
I am in search of contacting Curtis's parent whom we have lost touch over the years. If someone knows how to reach them or his wife Karen please contact me via facebook/Lisa Hawkins or
Lisa Hawkins
January 22, 2011
I am DEEPLY sadenned to have come across this in searching the web...
I feel compelled to tell a story (something that Curt was so good at)
Curt and I grew up together, met at church and had a friendship that was more like brotherhood/family. I remember when he broke his leg at school, slipping on a piece of paper and his parents were away on business and so I volunteered to take him to school and pick him up so he wouldn't have to negotiate a trip on the bus with crutches. I was travelling 35 thru a school zone the first day I went to pick him up and got a speeding ticket, my first I might add.
I remember travelling with Curt and his dad to Estes Park Colorado in the "Palm Beach" motorhome and waking up in a rest area, on the top of the mountain to "Rocky Mountain High" being played at full volume on the stereo system by John Denver and how fitting it was. Curt and I came along primarily to go hiking in the back country while his dad worked and hike we did....we hiked out of the Eastern Quadrangle at Estes Park and spent the night on a hillside (there were no flat spots) and I can remember rolling in the night inside of my sleeping bag and ending up almost out of the tent. The next day we hiked over "Storm Pass" and in that section of time, we got rained on, snowed on and at the end of the day we both got sunburn..what a day! There was a particularly steep section and we were both pretty shot and he pulls out a snickers bar, offers it to me (I guess I looked like I needed a little energy) and he had some witty remark about not wanting to have to carry MY sorry butt out of the woods....I could go on, but I digress. Curt was a strong willed individual that in younger years was searching for where he was going to be in life. he had experienced a TON of life, travelled the world (with a little help from his parents) and loved a lot of people. He touched many hearts, mine included. I left Missouri for whiter, snowier realms and ended up in Vermont where I have been since 1986. Unfortunately I lost touch with my best friend over the years, but he was still on my mind and in my heart all those years....if anyone reads this and remembers only one thing I say, please let it be this; take time to keep in touch with those you care about, whether they are near or far away...some day you may live to regret the fact that you didn't call to say "Hi" or to just keep in touch...make the time!
To Jesse, Vallee and sisters and Curts immediate family (Karen) and children, I am so sorry for your loss, I know you ALL were close, I am also sorry that this comes 6 years after the fact, I should have kept in better touch. May GOD bless you and comfort you and keep you! I would LOVE to hear from any one of you and I will post my email address so we can keep in touch.
Jerry Harrington
Jerry Harrington
December 14, 2010
Mr. Peterson,

It's funny, I still have vivid memories of your class. Where I sat. Who sat around me. That little marked corner of the white board where you wrote down the Bonus Factoid. A camera on a tripod in the back of the room pointed at the students' desk, which I was forever weary of-- lest you turn it on when taking a quick trip to the bathroom or water fountain in order to record our rowdy behavior when you were gone. Then, the second you returned, we were all acting like angels in the classroom.

Yes, we were a little afraid of you, but it was a healthy dose of fear that pushed us to prepare for your classes, and give our best efforts, so that we did not disappoint you. I specifically remember the "slave debate" that we had in your class, and how, because there was an odd number of students in the classroom, my partner and I were set to debate, of all people, you and another girl in my grade. I was terrified I'd make a fool of myself against you, so I prepared and prepared, probably reading through more text for that debate than I had ever read for a class. The day of the debate, my partner, David Edwards, broke his wrist in P.E. and I was forced to face you two by myself. I was terrified (I think I even tried to get out of school), but I rose to the occasion and somehow filled in my partner's role and ultimately went on to win the debate.

That was the first time I tasted success in the realm of speech and debate. I overcame an obstacle that I never thought I could conquer (even though you had equipped me with everything I needed to do so). I think that without that event, I probably never would have pursued debate in high school, never would have become a comfortable public speaker, and never would have held the leadership positions I hold today. You broke me down and built me up in that classroom, truly changing the course of my life.

No other teacher did that for their students in the way you did. No other teacher had that aura of awe, wonder, and mystery about him. You truly were a legend in the making.

I sit here reminiscing on our time together in that classroom, because I was reminded by a friend that you should, every once in a while, thank those people that had a profound impact on your life. I never had a chance to say thank you in person. And while I often talk about you and your class to friends and family, I have never written anything publicly.

So, while I know my thoughts about you are transparent between you and I, I figured I'd write a little something here so that your friends, wife and children knew how important you were to so many people. After all, I am of the opinion that a life is not measured by the number of days that it sees, but the amount of positive change that it brings. Your life certainly impacted mine, and I hope that I can do the same for others in the future.


David Blumberg
David Blumberg
February 16, 2008
I just found this obit and guestbook today, I don't know if it's even appropriate for me to comment. Curt was my first boyfriend. I met him at a KC Youth for Christ summer camp the year I was 16. We dated for only a short time, about three months I think, hard to remember now. I lived in Topeka and would drive to KC for the YFC meetings, and one time he drove to Topeka and stayed with my family so we could go out and have a proper date. He broke up with me when an old girlfriend came back in his life, and I didn't see him again until I was 19 and enrolled at Evangel.

I've always thought back on him fondly, the first boy I ever loved and the one that was hard to get over. I'm so glad he had a good life with a loving wife and children. My heart is going out to her now, having lost my own husband five years ago I really feel her loss.
Angela Wright (Seabaugh)
July 19, 2007
More than two years later, I find that I am still impacted by the life of Curtis Peterson. 8th grade was six years ago but because of his history class, I now find myself as a history major.

The best teacher I have ever had.
February 16, 2006
As we near the one year aniversary of Mr.Peterson's death I kept thinking about what I could do. I wanted to write a letter to Mr. Peterson's family so they could know all of that Mr. Peterson ment to me, and so his child and child to-be could learn about him. Mr. Peterson is a man I will never forget. I still have the piece of paper with his famous quote
"come to the edge" he told them
"no it is too high" they said
"come to the edge" he said again
"no we will fall" they said
"come to the edge" he demanded
He pushed them and they flew!"
tacked to my wall, where i can look at it every day, because that was exactly what Mr. Peterson did for me. My biggest regret, is not being able to tell Mr. Peterson how much he changed my life. He always taught us to try our best in whatever we do. After his passing I was really upset and my mom told me that in order for him to live on i should try to live how he would have liked me too, so that is what i try to do. Try my best in everything, and because of him i LOVE history. Now I am in high school and whenever anyone talks about the midde school, or anything having to do with the middle school, Mr. Peterson is always the first thing mentioned.
Mr. Peterson- you are deeply missed. Thank you for everything.
July 12, 2005
The Peterson Family,

I sit in stunned disbelief in the news of Curt's passing. Although it has been decades since I last had contact with him, my sorrow for your loss is deep.

Curt was a wonderful friend and generous spirit. All of our lives are less now that he is no longer of this world.

Curt using role play to teach was such a Curt thing to do. He enjoyed it in college and thrived when he was learining and it's great that he passed that love on to his students.

My deepest sympathies to Karen, Sydney, Emma, Jesse, Vallee and his sisters. Heaven is richer now with Curt in residence, I wish for his family's sake God would have waited awhile.

I grieve for an old friend and wonderful person, you grieve a husband, father, son, and brother. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Becky (Miller) Honeycutt
May 16, 2005
Curt was a singular person. He was such a giver, and asked so little in return. But because he asked so little, and gave so much, we all wanted to give him everything we could. I guess in this way he was even a teacher to those of us not in middle school. He gave me the husband I adored; to Sydney he gave the father she desperately needed; and to everyone he gave his unstinted friendship, love, and support. How can you ever thank a person for that?

Curt's star burned so hot, so fast, and so bright, that it must have had no choice but to burn out sooner than we would have wanted. Losing him has left an enormous hole in my heart - and in my world. Sydney and I talk about him a lot, we blow kisses to him at night, and we have pictures all over the house, but there is nothing we would not give to have him here with us once again, to be able to continue living out our fairy tale.

For that is what Curt was to me. He was my Prince Charming. My knight in shining armor. His capactiy for love was larger than anyone else's I have ever known and loving him was such a very easy thing to do.

I will miss him for the rest of my life. But I consider myself lucky, and I am very grateful to have had the privilege of knowing him at all. His daughter, Emma Grace, will be born in mid-August of this year, and Sydney has given me her three-year-old, doe-eyed, solemn promise that she will teach Emma all about her daddy because, as she so sweetly explained to me, that is what big sisters are for.

Curt, the love of my life, I tell you this: I split my love between earth and heaven, watching for you even as you are watching over us.

Karen Peterson
April 8, 2005
To the Family of Mr. Curtis Peterson:

As the parent of one of Mr. Peterson’s students I am reminded that there is nothing that can move me so profoundly as when someone has touched my child in some special way. Mr. Peterson has done for my son what no other teacher, friend, or even family member ever has. He reached something inside my son’s mind and inside his heart, and ignited a passion for learning about a subject he had not as yet discovered.

From the beginning of this year, a child who had never demonstrated any real interest in history was utterly transformed and fascinated. Within a few months he spoke of becoming “a history teacher like Mr. Peterson” (or a “diplomat,” or a “conqueror”). Having now learned of Mr. Peterson’s different personae, even the last and most unorthodox of those possible career paths now seems to have a context. Our son asked for history books for his holiday gifts, and even his choice in video-games turned to those with historical themes (a more high-tech version of reenacting).

We encouraged our son to tell Mr. Peterson of his new found excitement and interests, but he seemed to prefer that it be an unspoken bond – as if a more personal interaction with this special teacher might spoil the magic.

My wife and I both had separately decided that we wanted to write Mr. Peterson a letter at the end of the year letting him know of our appreciation for his contribution to our child. Delivered much earlier than planned, more publicly than envisioned, under circumstances no one thought possible, from our hearts we say, now, “Thank you so much, Mr. Peterson, for all you have done for our son.”

Christopher Warren
Christopher Warren
March 16, 2005
Today, March 16,would be your 40th Birthday. At this time, we still cry and wonder why. Too much happened too quickly. You entered our world on this date,our first and only son to join the three "C" sisters,Cindy, Connie, and Candy. Those same sisters that taught you to talk, stood and talked and sang at both of your memorial services. They still loved their baby brother.
There was such an outpouring of love in memorial services both in Florida and Texas. Hundreds attended along with television coverage and newspaper coverage. You must have been so surprised.
The wonderful comments'from your fellow teachers and students,will be treasured forever. You managed to achieve in less then 40 years what some can never achieve in a lifetime of 80 years. We were blessed to have shared those years together.We have the birth of your first child to look forward to in August.Today has been a hard one but "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always" Mother
Vallee Peterson
March 12, 2005
I really don't know what to say, I'm in shock and I'm so very sad for your family's loss. I guess I just want you to know that so many of us are thinking of your family right now. I saw the picture of Curt at the beginning of the article, and he looks so much like Jesse and so much like the young man that I remember many many years ago when I last saw him. His accomplishments are impressive, and he has clearly had an impact on the lives of so many people. I was just remembering going the animated Robin Hood with Candy and Curt when we were visiting Kansas as kids. I can see Curt so clearly. I always liked him very much, and always wished that there had been more opportunities to spend some time with him and all of you. My heart goes out to all of you. With Love. Bob
Robert H. Bourdeau
March 12, 2005
Jesse & Valley:

It was so good to talk with you both on the phone today. I just wanted to add my fond memories here of Curt and to share my deepest sympathy over your profound loss.

My memories go back at least 30 years when Curt was just a kid. I loved the times I spent at your home and how much you all made me feel like part of your family. Time has not eroded any of that bond whatsoever.

I promise I will come visit you soon and reconnect with those wonderful memories. Until then, know that my heart and my soul and my prayers are constantly with you.

Paul Johnson
February 28, 2005
Jesse and Vallee,

You are in our hearts and in our prayers in these difficult days. Word are so inadequate, but we want to add our sympathies to this beautiful collection of tributes. In the nearly two years I (Tree) worked for you Jesse, the thing I remember most about Curt is how much you and Vallee loved him and all your children. You have been wonderful examples for your kids and so many others. It's obvious from what has been written about "Mr. Peterson," Curt continued what he learned from his parents.

To you, Cindy, Connie, and Candy, our sincerest sympathy.

And to Karen, Sydney and baby, may God comfort your heart and may you be blessed with the knowledge that your Curt touched many lives in such positive ways.
Jon and Patrice (Tree) Lawson
February 27, 2005
Dear Family of Mr. Peterson,
For two years I had the privilege fo playing football for Mr. Peterson. I am terribly sorry to hear about his sudden passing and extend my greatest simpathy to your family.
Clint Nies
February 27, 2005
Dear Vallee, Jesse and the wonderful Peterson Family,
Gunnel and I send our warmest prayers for you all in these days of deepest sorrow. May The Lord give you strength and guidance for the days to come.
Svante Widén
February 25, 2005
Dear family of Curtis Lee Peterson,

At the beginning of every year I would bring home my schedule of all my classes and teachers and have my brother look at it and tell the classes I would love. Of course the first one he pointed out was Mr. Peterson’s 8th period social studies class. He told me that Mr. Peterson would be the best social studies teacher I would ever have, this was true.
Now, just two years later I still remember everything we did that year. Mr. Peterson not only taught us history, but he allowed us to experience it. He did this by reenacting periods of time for us, teaching us to play the slave game, having us participate in his wax museum, and many other memorable moments. Also each day we would never know who Mr. Peterson would actually be. Most days he was Mr. Peterson, but every once in a while he would come to school as the famous Captain Anderson or other characters. And if you called out “Mr. Peterson” while he was in his character he would not even acknowledge you because he wasn’t Mr. Peterson. He did so many unforgettable things in order for his students to love history.
But there is one thing I remember the most from his class and I will never forget. Every time we would have a dreaded “Brain Retention Exercise”, Mr. Peterson would do whatever he possibly could to distract us from our work. Some days he would play music from his computer, some days he would start having a conversation with us while are hands were numb from answering his feared essay questions, some days he would even start singing and play catch with his cannon ball. But however he distracted us during his “Brain Retention Exercises” he always had a reason why he did this. And he revealed this reason to us on our last day of school in his class. He asked us to remember all the times he tried to distract us during our “Brain Retention Exercises”. He then asked if we liked the distractions or not. As you can guess most of the class said they did not like having his distractions while struggling to complete his “Brain Retention Exercises”. This was in fact the answer he wanted to hear. He then revealed his reasoning behind all this. He told us that throughout life there will be distractions getting in our way of our goals and that we can not let these distractions interfere with our ambitions, but we must also have fun while achieving our ambitions. This lesson has stayed with me and will stay with me for the rest of my life thanks to Mr. Peterson. I will always keep in mind what I learned from him and remember him as my great 7th grade teacher.

Kelly Ulmer
Kelly Ulmer
February 25, 2005
I am praying for you and your family in the loss of Curtis.
Ray Burke
February 25, 2005
Sir Peterson was the best teacher i ever had and no teacher can take his place. His class was the only class i couldn't wait to go to in 7th grade, not knowing who would walk through the door, what special activity we would be doing, or what stories he would tell us. Before his class, i hated history, but now he made me love the Civil War and many other things. He is the only teacher that would not only make me cry, but the whole school, students that had him, or students that heard the stories about him, cry. Even though we will continue with his tradition of the Slave game, Wax Museum, marching with golf clubs, it wont feel the same without him. it would take an extremly long time until someone would compare to Sir Peterson. He told me "love will kill you", all the examples in history proving him right, but it still doesn't change the fact that we all love him.
Stephanie Figueroa
February 25, 2005
Jesse & Vallee,
My only memory of Curt is as a little boy. However, reading these messages and - moreover - knowing his mom and dad, I have no doubt that he was a great man who touched many, many young lives.
Only Heaven will reveal the tremendous difference he made in his short life.
Lynann and I send you our warmest love. I pray the Father will wrap his loving arms around you and give you peace in the midst of this storm.

Bill Rayborn
February 24, 2005
Mr. Peterson's Family,

Mr. Peterson was our son Alex's advisor and social studies teacher this year (7th grade). He was an exceptional teacher and person. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

Alex taped one of the last lectures that Mr. Peterson gave on his pocket tape recorder. If you would like a copy, please let us know.

The Haubold Family
February 24, 2005
We have shared many camp fires with Curt at the reenactments we went to. We have renamed our unit to the Peterson Brigade in his honor. Curt has been promoted to the rank of Captain. I will not say goodbye Curt but till our next post, keep your powder dry.
Fred Parks
February 23, 2005
I never knew Curt as teacher, coach or colleague, but as cousin. I remember when we were kids, at Christmas, playing in Grandma and Grandpa's basement. One thing sticks in my mind...Evel Knievel. Curt had a toy motorcycle that he graciously let the cousins take turns playing with. Funny what one remembers. There was also another Christmas where he drew my name in "the great name exchange" that happened in the Peterson family every year. My gift was a porcelain doll. I was so excited and so very proud of that doll because it was from my cousin, Curt!

To Uncle Jesse, Aunt Vallee, Karen, Sydney, Cindy, Connie and Candace, I love you all.
Teresa Spielman
February 23, 2005
Dear family of Mr.Peterson,
Mr.Peterson inspired me to enjoy and love the Civil War. Before having his class I despised anything to do with war. He was the best teacher I have ever had. His amazing stories that were unable to be found in an ordinary book were thrilling and amazing. I'm sure Mr.Peterson is up in heaven talking to all of the generals he reenacted and tols stories about. He is an amazing man who will be in my heart forever.
Jessie Fleeman
Jessica Fleeman
February 22, 2005
dear mr. peterson,
i dont know what to say. it feels like yesterday i was argueing the fact that women werent the reason for so many gliches and laghing and always hearing a come back right after my stupid corney suck up line to start off class. history was always sort of my favorite class but that was only because there were the facts and if you know the facts you can ace the class (only class i didnt stink at). but when i walked into your class on the first day of school and you told us that you were a cold and heartless dictator i wasnt sure what the year would be like. to my surpise it was the coolest class i ever had. i actualy enjoyed learning and wanted to learn. i always looked foward to your class with anticipation on not wether we were going to have a pop quiz or not but what you would come to class in or what we were learning about. running down the stairs to get to class wasnt normal for me but you werent a normal teacher.its truley amazing how happy a person can be and how many people one person can effect. you have impacted my life and my whole look on school. i love you so much and will miss you.
Haylee becker
February 22, 2005
Mr. Peterson was the best teacher I have ever had/ will have. When we marched with golf clubs pretending they were guns, the slave game, seeing him dressed up with his reinactors, him dropping cannon balls next to our desks when we were trying to take a Brain Retention Exercise, the wax museum, the happy song, and everything else wont be forgotten and will be greatly missed. He was the most unique, funniest, and most passionate teacher I ever met and I love him for that. All of his precious little angels miss him grealty. 2 of Mr. Peterson's famous sayings are "Those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it" and "Love will kill you." I guess now we know that the second one is true. R.I.P. Curtis Peterson 2/18/05
Chrissy Baker
February 22, 2005
Mr. Peterson: You were such an inspiration to everyone at school, and you made everyone enjoy social studies so much with because you were creative and loved what you did. We love you, and we really miss you!
Christina Whitehurst
February 22, 2005
Maybe in awhile the shock will wear off, as it sinks in, that my old roommate, my friend, who got me through some rough times, who shared a lot of good times, is gone. How many times did I think about calling, but didn't, of finding your e-mail or new address, but didn't. We lost contact for so long that I didn't even know of your family. How the memories flood me now, romping through southern Missouri, your green trenchcoat and wide brimmed hat, shooting our rifles at the range, watching war flicks, splitting a late night pizza in Krause hall. The night you Quested for CORR, standing back to back, sword in hand with Gene. All the fun we had, the late night talks on history and life, politics and war. Getting you through the rough times when the world came crashing down. I can't believe my friend is gone. And worse, I can't beleive I let the years go by without talking to you since 98. And now you are gone. And we shall never talk again this side of Heaven. One day, should the Lord tarry, we will talk again old friend, and I hope you will forgive me for waiting so long.

To his family and parents, I wish that somehow I could ease the pain and burden of this loss. Prayers and sympathies are assured of course, and I do believe that faith in God and Christ makes some burdens lighter, as time goes by. Although, his loss leaves a hole in my heart, his life filled a hole in me that can never be emptied, and I shall not forget him. I gave him a book, long ago, Sun Tzu's Art of War. Curt was a warrior. Deus la Vault.
Kevin Warnock
February 22, 2005
Dear Peterson Family,
Our deepest sympathy to all of you on the loss of a great man. May God comfort you and give you strength and courage during this difficult time. Coach Peterson was our son Ryan's football coach in 7th and 8th grades (2002 & 2003). Ryan enjoyed every minute of those practices and games in the Florida heat of August-November because of the lessons learned from Coach Peterson and Prof. The boys learned so much and turned a losing season in their 7th grade year to an undefeated season in 8th grade (2003). In my carpool it is not uncommon to hear Ryan and his friends (as 9th graders now) speak of their glorious 8th grade football season and the good times they had with Coach Peterson and Prof. At the end-of-season football party in 2003, Coach Peterson related a story about how he had Ryan perform a grueling circuit of stairs as punishment for an infraction on the sports bus the day before. Since Ryan carried out his punishment with energy and purpose, without complaint and still had a smile on his face at the end of the day, Coach Peterson said he decided that this particular punishment from thereafter would be called the "Etons" after Ryan. Ryan was extremely honored! At the party, my husband and I marveled at the time commitment made by Coach Peterson to these young people and thanked him for his dedication. To labor in the hot sun/humidity as a football coach for 3 hours/day, 5 days/week after a full day of teaching and to go home to face papers and exams can only mean a true love of guiding young people. This dedication and love was very apparent when seeing the smile on his face when relating stories about his team. Ryan wasn't fortunate enough to have Coach Peterson as a teacher, but we knew of his stellar repuation as an educator through the stories of the students and other parents. Coach Peterson left us far too early, but he made lasting contributions to the lives of so many young people. Through him they learned about history, hard work, dedication, perseverance, respect, and teamwork. These life lessons from Coach Peterson will live on in his students. He left a powerful legacy and they will never forget him. In this time of great sadness you have much to be proud of.
Linda and Darwin Eton
Linda Eton
February 22, 2005
Mr Peterson, Words cannot express the love that you had for your students as a teacher. Whether it was your "Brain retention exercises or your civil war reenacments, you always showed us that history is full of life. I'm sure that everyone shares my feelings. All I can say is "We Will Never Forget"
Ajani Booth
February 21, 2005
Mr. Peterson taught me in 8th grade and was one of the best teachers I have ever had. I am so sorry that he is now gone, and I will never forget him.
Emily Schwartz
February 21, 2005
Dear Jesse and Vallee,

We were so saddened to learn of your loss. May God comfort you and your family and give you strength in your sorrow.

In Christ's love,
Al and Carolyn Auby
Al & Carolyn Auby
February 21, 2005
My most sincere sympathy to all the Peterson's family for such a tragic loss. Mr. Peterson was my son Nicolas' teacher and advisor last year. He showed such a great interest in him and was such an inspiration. I remember him saying, well I did that when I was his age! It was always followed by, this is what my father did . . . He was a man of principle and honor with such a big heart. He loved his students and gave them always 100%. Teaching was not just a job, it was a calling. Whenever any issue arose, Mr. Peterson called, wrote and e-mailed! He always found a way to find you when there was someting important to discuss. I loved my meetings with him and sharing a cup of starbucks. Dr. and Mrs. Peterson, you must be very proud of the kind and gentle man you raised. He touched so many lives. Karen, if there is anything we can ever do for your or your children, please know that you can call on us. I pray that God grant you the courage and the serenity to help you through this trying times. What a loss we've had, but what a gain in heaven. I know that the angels must be dancing in celebration. You will all be in our prayers.
Marcia Soto Pirani
Marcia Soto Pirani
February 21, 2005
Dear Peterson Family,

Roslyn and I express our sincerest concern and deepest sympathy to you on the very sudden and shocking news received today about Curt's death. We have wonderful memories from our association with Curt during his years at Evangel ... and of course, as a member of the percussion section in the band. He is being remembered with fondness for the special person he was.
Jesse and Vallee, especially today we pray for you as the loving and caring parents that you have been to Curt. Cindy, Connie, and Candace we pray for you today ... as I remember losing my sister at an all-too-early age. May God give comfort and strength. And Sydney and Karen, who we have never met, we pray for you that this pain will eventually dissolve into wonderful memories of your years together. May the Blessed Hope of Christ be with all of you by turning this momentary darkness into eternal light through His abiding love and grace.
You are in our loving thoughts and prayers,
John and Roslyn Shows
John Shows
February 21, 2005
Curt Peterson was my little brother. I remember so well the day he was born - our first, and only, brother after three girls in the family. His favorite book when he was young was "Rifles for Waitey" and he always said that was what turned him on to Civil War history. And he surely loved history! But he loved lots of other things, too:
- Nebraska football
- KU basketball
- reinactments
- good steaks
- homeless, scroungy dogs that always seemed to find him :-)

But he loved so many more other things, too, the people who made him who he was:

- his mother, who was his eternal cheerleader and supporter
- his father, who was his role model in life and always believed in him
- his sisters who were his greatest listeners to ALL those stories
- his colleagues at Ransom, Mike, John, George, Carlos and so many more. He spoke of you always with such great admiration and appreciation
- his students - oh, how he loved you. If you only knew how many of you we have heard about by story and anecdote. You are why he kept going on through all his days of pain - he wanted to be with you.
- his friends - Curt had some of the most loyal friends in the world: Michael, Robert and Melody, Prof, Dave, Jim, Greg, Kary, Gary, Bryan and so many others I can't think of right now. Curt loved you guys and you made his life both fun and memorable.
- his dear, dear Karen. My brother was the happiest man on earth when he and Karen were planning their wedding. He said he had let Karen get away once but NEVER again. He cherished his wedding ring which she engraved "FOREVER".
- Sydney, who was the first person ever to call him "Daddy". He loved this precious little girl with everything he had in him.
- his new baby - he only got to see this little one in his/her precious Mommy's tummy, but Curt was so excited to know he/she was healthy and couldn't wait for them to come.
- his God - Curt had a lot of questions he wanted to ask God one day, but he never doubted God's goodness or perfect sovereignty in his life. Now the questions will be answered for Curt for all times.

Thank you to all who loved Curt and added so much to his life. I loved him, too. We both became history teachers, shared so many times together filled with laughter and tears, and the little brother whom I loved so much became one of my best friends on earth. I love you Curtis Lee John and I'll see you soon. Tell Grandma and Grandpa "hi" for me.
Love, Cindy
Cynthia Allen
February 21, 2005
Mr. Peterson was my favorite teacher ever. I had him last year and even though i didnt have so much fun taking his brain retention exercises, i learned so much from him. he made history fun and he brought it to life. i loved marching outside and all of the fun stuff we did in your class. I was so lucky to have him as a teacher and i feel sorry for all the kids who will never get that chance. i will never forget you or the things i learned in your class.
Gabby Joseph
February 21, 2005
Our family, could never begin to express our deep sadness at the loss of Mr. Peterson. Curt was a deeply committed friend to us and mentor to our children. We will forever be grateful to him and truly blessed by knowing him. We keep him and his dear family in our prayers.
Your Friends in Christ,
Rod, Linda, Paul and Marc Milani
Linda Milani
February 21, 2005
To Curt's wife, Sydney, his parents, sisters and grandparents. We knew how lucky we were to have him and words cannot express my deep sorrow now that he's gone.
Linda Duarte
February 21, 2005
Mr. Peterson's Family,
I am very sorry about the loss of Mr. Peterson. He truly was the greatest history teacher I have ever met.
Ivana Gonzalez
February 20, 2005
Seventh grade seems like such a long time ago, yet there are memories that stand out in my mind that seem as fresh, as the shock of hearing about Mr. Peterson's passing:

On my first day at Ransom Everglades, a man who was rumoured to be the meanest, fiercest, scariest teacher at the school greeted me. He was to be my history teacher for fifth period every day. I sat through his first class with shaking knees as he told us that over two-thirds of his classes failed. We were so shocked that we missed his next statement, telling us he considered anything below an A, a fail. I was terrified as he warned us about his tests, brain retention exercises, and threatened us with pop-quizzes. Then he gave us hope: Bonus Factoids.

It was only when I began to research our first question that I realized it was just a cruel joke. So many people had been quoted for phrases similar to the quote he had given us to find. Not a single student of Mr. Peterson has ever brought back the correct answer, unless they had an older brother or sister helping them. We arrived back in class with a multitude of answers, none correct. Yet it was not the actual answer that was so central to his point, it was the quote itself:
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”-Jim Jones.

It is what he, more than anything, wanted us to take from his class. He expected us only to know what he knew, and we soon realized he knew quite a bit. As the year went on, I lost my fear, and in its stead, grew a deep admiration and love. I spent every moment I could at his desk, discussing and learning from his wealth of knowledge. Looking back, his patience was endless, and I cannot imagine how I must have tortured him at times with my daily visits, before school, after school, during lunch. Here was a man more passionate about his subject and his subjects than I had ever met. He enriched not only our knowledge but also our lives, bringing history to life before our very eyes and drawing us into it.

Though his expectations were high, his lessons were incredible: civil war wax museums, re-enactments, underground railways, fan-language and etiquette classes, to name a few. We realized he wasn't the sternest teacher , the reputation he so eagerly wore and perpetuated with tall stories. No matter how persistent the rumours, , we knew he definitely had never eaten any sixth-graders.

In the past year or so, it has been harder for him to keep up that façade. For a man that had revelled in his role as the school ogre, he had an awfully hard time convincing students of his meanness with a huge smile spread across his face. Love can do funny things to a man, and when I came to visit during my time in Miami I had never seen him happier.

His lessons reach far beyond the facts of history. He taught us to be interested, fascinated by all around us, to draw upon everything that surrounded us with a thirst to learn. He showed us the layers of humanity, its achievements, its shame, and its possibilities. He taught us to remember the past, so that we would never repeat it. He opened our eyes to the opportunities that lay before us. He taught us to expect more of ourselves, and to go beyond those expectations.
Passion is an inspiring thing. It can light flames in ones soul and tender them into roaring fires. This is what Mr. Peterson did for his students. He has sent us forth alight with enthusiasm, eager for life and knowledge and in this, in our achievements and our lives, he lives on.
Lily Erlinger
February 20, 2005
Mr. Peterson was an amazing teacher and had such an uplifting personality. I was in his class in 7th grade and his advisory and there was truly never a dull moment. I was so fortunate to be able to have the oppurtunity to have him as a teacher and mentor, he made me like history and school.
Noah Goldberg
February 20, 2005
Dear Coach Peterson,
You taught me so much and helped me get through so many things during the two years I knew you. Both in class and out on the football field.
Here are some of the things you taught me and how I applied them to my life:

Don't be scared of anyone out there just because your a girl, because that's not a weakness in fact it works as an advantage.
- Now I go to an all girls school where I can reach any goals I want to obtain.

The best defense in a great offense.
-I've learned that even when I'm not in a position to score if I try hard I may make my goals happen anyway.

and finally even though we are the underdogs we can still beat any team that we face, if we just go out there and do it
-I took the leap of faith and now I am in Miss Porter's School, learning all I can and excelling at 3 different team sports and I know with determination and your voice always in my head and heart I can do anything!

We will always love and miss you Coach Peterson, and thank you for all you patience with us.

Love always,
Martha Whitney Bellows
Martha Whitney Bellows
February 20, 2005
You were an amazing teacher. We'll be thinking about you.
Meghan Wilson
February 20, 2005
Mr. peterson touched my life in such a positive way. He was a wonderful teacher and i will miss him so much. To the peterson family: i'm keeping you all in my prayers.
Nerissa Sturrup
February 20, 2005
Mr. Peterson was the kind of teacher who made a real difference. For the year he had our son in American history, our family would savor the latest Peterson assignment or the most recent "bonus factoid." We knew how lucky our son was to have such a teacher. I spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon at a re-enactment with my son learning all about Civil War rifles and wool uniforms and handmade bullets.
It's been four years since my son was in his class, but just two weeks ago I was sharing Peterson stories with a mother of one of his current students. Who knew this year would take him from our community?
To his family, friends, and students, you have my deepest sympathy.
Lucie Spieler
February 20, 2005
Mr. Peterson: We love you now and always will. We will be at your funeral, and we all hope that you and Jesse James can have long conversations about his train robberies in detail. Never froget that Barney is a communist and that we love you very much. Although we and your reinactment partners will miss you, we know that you will have fun with General Hooker and your favorite men. Thanks for letting, and teaching us to FLY!!!!!
Sophie Bracken
February 20, 2005
Mr. Peterson's Family:
I am very sorry to hear about to hear about what happened. Mr. Peterson was a great teacher and football coach. He was such a nice guy and he cared about us so much. I'm so sorry.
Maxwell Martinez
February 20, 2005
Mr. Peterson was the greatest history teacher I ever had. He was the one in fact, that made me fall in love with history. He changed my life, and I'm sure he changed so many others as well.
Amy Share
February 20, 2005
Curt, how blessed I am to call you my friend! The memories are so many I could write a book or two. I will always remember our drives around the outskirts of Springfield, when all we did was talk and laugh as we got to know one another so well. It was worth every mile I put on my Oldsmobile. I've often thought how if I hadn't been "academically challenged" earlier in my Evangel career I would not have gone a fifth year and met you. You made it all worth it, my friend.

I'll also remember my visits to your parents' house in Leawood. The one trip I made to visit you in Tyler, TX, in April 1992. Watching you coach wrestling at Ransom in January 1997. And of course, the last time we saw one another in June 1997 when you visited my family and I in Colorado.

I expected there would be many more trips to see one another. But you have made the journey before me. I expect you'll ask the Lord if there are reinactments in heaven; if so they must be awesome with so many souls up there who actually fought in the Civil War. I also picture you reciting Proverbs with Jesus. You probably know most of the book by heart.

I love you, my friend. Talk to you in just a little while.

To Curt's entire family, I am so sorry for his loss. He will be missed by anyone who was privileged to get to know him, as I certainly was. This weekend I kept hearing the song "Homesick" from my favorite band, MercyMe. The words seem so appropriate right now:

You're in a special place, I've heard a thousand times,
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you,
But the reason why I am broken, the reason why I cry, is how long must I wait to be with you.

I close my eyes and I see your face, if home is where my heart is than I'm out of place.
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow,
I've never been more homesick than now...

I pray the Lord strengthen you all in this difficult time. Curt's parents, I hope we stay in touch. I'd like to visit with you again some time. Karen, Sydney, and child on the way, I hope someday to meet you and swap stories about Curt.

God bless you all,
Jim Balducki
Jim Balducki
February 20, 2005
Richard Lagueruela MD
February 20, 2005
John Smith
February 20, 2005
Mr. Peterson. I love you and I will always miss you. I hope your wife doesn't decide to move and then I will babysit your kids for free; it would be my honor. Until I see you again, I hope you are having the time of your life talking with all your favorite historical figures and are no longer in pain. I'll always be here for you. Don't forget me. Love, Michelle
Michelle Loewenherz
February 20, 2005
Our deepest sympathies to the family of an unforgettable teacher and a precious human being.

Daniel Heck (9th grader) and mother, Caroline Heck Miller
Daniel Heck
February 20, 2005
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I subbed at Ransom and Curtis was just so inspirational as a teacher, you could tell he loved his job so much, and he was adored by his students. What a great teacher. You have my deepest sympathy.
Cassandra Gorur
February 20, 2005
To The Peterson Family:

I want to express my very sincere and deep condolences on the very sudden and unexpected passing of Curtis. It has saddened me beyond words to know that such a great man is no longer with us. I can only pray that the good Lord bring you peace and the knowledge that Curtis is now in his care. May the Lord Bless You All and provide you with the strength that only he can give at this moment.
Maria D. Llamas
Maria D. Llamas
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