Donald Bernard Peterson
1942 - 2020
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Donald Bernard Peterson

Don passed away September 15, 2020 surrounded by his family after battling cancer. Don was born June 3, 1942 in Michigan where he grew up. He graduated from University of Notre Dame and received MS degree from University of Missouri and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia and Costa Rica. He continued a foreign service career, working in Central and South America, Jamaica, Africa, and Eastern Europe. He retired in 2013, returning to Seattle area.

Don is survived by his wife Maria Gonzalez-Peterson, his sons Andres (Jessica), and Joseph, his daughter Adele, his brother Doug (Carla), and two grandchildren.

Don was a history enthusiast. He loved all things nautical and was a dedicated fan of Notre Dame football.

His family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times on Sep. 22, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
October 11, 2020
Don as he like to be called is a very friendly person, he had been a Chief of Party in Sudan Renewable Energy Project Phase 1 and 2, we had been working as a very harmonized team, to day only I find myself eager to know some news about my old colleague I shocked to find his passing away news, I am sorry to hear that.
In my fresh memory still the news of his wife giving birth of Adele in eighth last century at that time Andres is smart young child. We spent a very nice time working together in Khartoum. May Allah rest his soul and peacefully. My ward condelences to his family.
Hawa Makkawi Elhag
October 6, 2020
I was the Country Desk Officer for Paraguay in Peace Corps/Washington in 1988 and on my first trip to Asuncion. Don and I had talked by phone but had not yet met in person. Greeting me at some ungodly hour of the night at the airport, he said: "I thought you were going to be a large, Italian woman, Diane." It was my voice and last name of Hibino (like Annino, Sabatino, etc). To his surprise, I was a short Asian woman (a 5'4" Japanese American) instead! That was my introduction to Don Peterson. He was a mentor and friend and we kept in touch all these years. Farewell and keep smiling down on us, Don - your smile and laugh were contagious.
Un abrazo fuerte,
Diane Hibino
October 1, 2020
I met Don when we worked at the Office of Economic Opportunity in the early '70s. He was a good friend and dedicated to making the world a better place. He also organized wonderful backpacking trips for us in the Cascades. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. May his memory be a blessing for his family.
Robert Heller
September 29, 2020
The richness of a person is not measured by their money but by the impact he had on the lives of other people. All his live, Donald followed a path of service, enhancing the lives of many across the globe. Personally, Donald played a key role in my professional development and those of my children to give an example. My admiration for him was instant the day I met him many years ago. He is greatly missed by those of us that had the fortune to know him.
Donald, you are forever in our hearts querido hermano!
Sandra Ayriss
September 28, 2020
Don was a wonderful mentor after I returned to the US after 20+ years abroad. He was generous with his time and advice. He was a gentle, giving and thoughtful person. He is already missed.
Thomas Reilly
September 28, 2020
I will never forget when Donald walked into a Bolivian restaurant in Arlington Virginia in 1997 (or maybe it was 1998) to a standing ovation of returned Peace Corps Volunteers that had served while he was the Peace Corps Country Director in Bolivia... Was there a dry eye in the house? I think there might have been a few, but Don's were not among them. Don cared about people and touched people's lives and that moment was just one beautiful reminder of how much.

Don is still around... Don is Notre Dame football. He's the glass of Chardonnay among the beer bottles. He's the Peace Corps. He is the husband the father and the friend. He's the reason people say "Why is it the good ones who go too soon?"

Thanks for being in our lives Don. You still are.
Scott Tobias
September 28, 2020
Querido Donald: Te fuiste un 15 de setiembre, día en el que este pequeñito país, Costa Rica, celebra su independencia y lugar en el cual encontraste a tu amor y empezaste una hermosa familia, tuviste la dicha de contar con todos ellos en los momentos más difíciles de tu vida.
Un abrazo fraterno para todos y que Dios les dé poco a poco la paz en sus corazones.
Isabel y Manuel
September 28, 2020
The Petersons and our family moved into the Aspen Glen neighborhood at about the same time (2015/16). Don was always very warm and friendly and I enjoyed spending time with him and Marielos talking about various topics, including his love for Indiana high school basketball! I will miss our happy hours together and his stories of his time in the foreign service. He was a loved member of the neighborhood and he will be dearly missed.
James Senior
September 27, 2020
Don gave me my first 2 jobs, was a mentor and friend. He taught me to love chardonnay, and manhattans we shared a common taste for music, books, travel and sports.
The world was a better place because of Don. I miss him tremendously.
Pablo Trupo
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