Ronald S. "Pete" Peterson
1950 - 2020
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Ronald S. "Pete" Peterson
November 15, 1950 ~ August 2, 2020
Comic. Dad. Grandpa. Friend. Mischievous Character. Nephew. Brother. Cousin. Uncle.
Ronald S. "Pete" Peterson died suddenly and unexpectedly Sunday night, August 2nd at St. Alphonsus Hospital from heart failure after being admitted for testing of an irregular heart beat.
Ron was born November 15, 1950, and grew up in Nampa, Idaho. He graduated one of the top of his Nampa High School Class of 1969. Prior to graduating from Boise State University with a BS in Psychology in 1973, a group of friends in Experimental Psychology decided it was much easier and less costly to bestow "Dr." upon each other than actually going on to attend graduate school.
Ron went on to work for the Idaho Department of Transportation as a systems analyst and upon retirement exposed his unique style of comedy at Boise's Funny Bone Comedy Club. Encouraged by fellow comics, he traveled to Washington, California, England, and Scotland to share his dry wit. He rode the STP (Seattle to Portland) bike ride in 1992 and 1993. Pete had an ecumenical religious curiosity, raised funds for Meals On Wheels, and volunteered with Agency For Americans by befriending and teaching newly arrived refugees how to use our public transit system.
Ron's optimism shined despite suffering childhood measles, which left him deaf in his left ear. Characterized by slow and deliberate speech, Pete noted for a feature article in the Idaho Statesman, "I'm a slow talker. Always been. I have trouble with fast talkers because my ears don't hear fast." Later, toxicity to a prescribed medication weakened his kidneys to the point of requiring dialysis yet his good humor remained undaunted.
Pete's greatest joy was connecting with people - to share a story and a laugh, to write jokes, to scheme up an adventure, to dine at Merritt's or a favorite Chinese restaurant, to discuss politics, to run or assist with political campaigns, and to visit every county seat in Idaho sharing his encouragement to vote. Pete liked to say, "I have two real passions in life: Comedy & Politics. Some would argue that is only one passion."
He loved sharing the outdoors with his sons, Mark and Douglas, introducing them to fishing and camping. Grandpa Ron was nuts about his grandkids – teaching them chess from the get-go and bowling with them as they grew. He excitedly planned to finally meet his newest granddaughter, 7-week-old Lilith Rose this week.
Ron is preceded in death by his parents, Bill & Audrey Peterson, son, Mark Peterson, and numerous aunts and uncles. He leaves behind son, Douglas and daughter-in-law Rose; grandkids Lilith Rose, Sam, Mark, Anabelle, Lilah, and Khaleesi; siblings Don & Kimberly; brother-in-law Don Wayne; Favorite Nephew David; Favorite Nieces Laura & Sarah; Aunt Gyla; and a bounty of beloved cousins and friends far and wide.
Pete desired an old time Irish Wake to gather and share stories of his antics. We would love stories or photos of him for a memory collection we are putting together until we meet in person. To contribute your memories or be notified of the gathering, please email In the meantime, raise a toast to Pete & perhaps call a loved one to share a story & a laugh, wishing them, "Have a wonderful day."

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Aug. 9, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
September 8, 2020
My beautiful friend Pete... I just found out today that you went on to the next act. I have been calling and texting you. I am so sorry that you have left us, I miss you. I want to thank you so much for believing in me and helping me with my campaign because I had no idea what I was doing or how to go about it. Then you called and we met and you helped me with everything and you believed in me, you really believed in me and for that I am eternally grateful. I was looking forward to taking you out to lunch for our 1 yr anniversary of us meeting. To be continued. Thank you for being funny, caring and truly authentic. Your heart was so BIG that you wanted to do so much for everything and everyone, well now you are in a place where you can. I love you Pete. Thank you for everything then and now. Love, Cortney.
Cortney Nielsen
August 11, 2020
August 11, 2020
I first met Ron at ITD where we worked in IT and on the same
IT team. We had a poker group where Ron was always fun and he enjoyed it very much. I am going to miss him at our poker parties. He was always had a funny story to tell us 'city slickers'. He gave me a 'Beat Butch' shirt when he ran for Governor of Idaho, which I still have. Ron was unique and 1 of a kind. He will be missed.
John l Hurst
August 11, 2020
I met Ron through my husband, John. When John and I married, he asked if I had a sister. I only have brothers! When I think of Ron, I smile. He was such a character and had many facets. Ron's dry humor always made people laugh or smile! We enjoyed him at the Comedy Club, and his Philbert jokes. His political ambitions were a long, long shot and he always knew it but had a great adventure! Ron definitely had an independent philosophy, including politically! He always looked forward to poker parties at the 'Hurst castle', wherever it was! The song My Way describes Ron to me, and he did it his way...he will be missed. My sympathy to his family and his friends.
Jan Hurst
August 11, 2020
So sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. We were neighbors with the Peterson’s just about 60 years ago. Ron, and brother Don, and I shared adventures and experiences as only young boys could in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Terrific childhood memories. Now and then, over the years, Ron and I connected through work, reunions or visits. When Ron made occasional visits to Reno we got together for dinner, reminisced about old times and shared news of our families. Ron was a long time, good friend and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and hearts are with your family at this time of sadness.
Steven (Brett) Hanson
August 10, 2020
Ron and I were buddies at the Idaho Transportation Department. He stopped by my desk frequently to chat - he was always amusing and I enjoyed him immensely. I considered him a good friend and am sad he is gone. Fly with the angels buddy ....
Laurie McAllister
August 10, 2020
I'm so sorry for you loss. I have been Ron's neighbor for many years on Lucky Lane I always enjoyed our visit he was quite the character.
My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Winnie Lowther
August 10, 2020
Ron "Pete" Peterson was one of a kind. Sometimes vexing but always entertaining. He was most of all a faithful friend. When others failed, Ron would always be there offering support. I enjoyed his particular brand of comedy. Although I did not share his love of politics, I assisted in his 2016 Presidential bid by supplying the "Pete for President" campaign bus. Yes, Ron ran for President... I will miss his quick wit, slow smile, and even slower speech. So Long and Happy Trails "Pete".
Craig McAllister
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