PETERSON, Norman Allen 9/17/1923 - 11/12/2020 On November 12, 2020, we sadly lost a local historian and truly one of the "great" ones as Norm Peterson passed in Spokane at the age of 97. He was born September 17, 1923, to Hazel (Wilson) and Elmer Peterson and grew up on a wheat farm in Almira, Washington, along with his brother Lawrence and sister Frances. His paternal grandfather emigrated from Denmark by ship through Ellis Island, then to Panama where he crossed the isthmus on foot, another ship to San Francisco, train to Sprague WA, and from there on foot to homestead in Almira. His maternal grandmother's family left Missouri the day after President Lincoln was assassinated and came west by wagon train on the Oregon Trail. After high school, Norm was a wartime airplane riveter for Boeing in Seattle. He met the love of his life, a red-haired beauty named Doradyne from Spokane, and they married in 1945. They settled into post-war farm life in Almira where they raised 6 children - Rick (Carol) of Entiat, Gary (Julie, deceased) of Almira, Candy (Mike) of Arizona, Bryan (Shannon) of Wilbur, Melody (Dan) of Tacoma, and Teresa (Claud) of Spokane. Norm lost his sweet Doradyne in 2005. They had 23 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and 8 great-great-grand children. Norm was a devoted husband and an avid golfer, having the second hole-in-one on the Wilbur golf course. There was nothing he liked better than having an interesting conversation with a good or new friend. He could have an engaging conversation with anyone and especially liked to tease in order to get a chuckle out of someone. He had an amazing memory for events and people and loved to share these stories. He had a lifelong love affair with oreos, chocolate, jelly beans, and scotch, along with his breakfast of soda crackers. His big, strong, hard-working hands, especially his pointing finger, were his trademark. He was a true gentleman, especially with the ladies, holding the door, walking on the street side, and standing when they came to the table. Norm was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, an active board member of their Early Life Speech & Language clinic, Past Master of the Almira Lodge, Deputy of the Grand Master District 29, an El Katif Shriner, and a member and Past Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. He served as a mentor to other men by guiding, coaching and supporting them as they became new Masons. He was an active member of the Almira Lion's Club and was a founding member and past-President of the Big Bend Golf & Country Club in Wilbur. At the age of 65, he fulfilled a dream and became a glider pilot. He was loved by many and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him. Graveside services will be held at the Almira Cemetery at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 21. The family is grateful for the compassionate caregivers at Touchmark and Hospice of Spokane. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Norman's name may be made to the Scottish Rite Early Life Speech & Language clinic, 506 W. 2nd Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201, or to the Big Bend Golf & Country Club, c/o Bryan Peterson, PO Box 161, Wilbur, WA 99185. Strate Funeral Home of Davenport is coordinating the arrangements.
Published in Spokesman-Review on Nov. 18, 2020.