Dr. Barrett G. Peterson
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BURLINGTON - Dr. Barrett Peterson, 58, paddled onward the evening of July 4, 2018, surrounded by family and friends, after facing down stiff winds in a three-and-a-half-year battle with a rare cancer, Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP).
Barrett's camaraderie was born growing up with his two brothers in Montpelier, competing at everything rough and tumble, from hockey to skiing to extreme sledding. Summers were spent camping and fishing with the extended Sessions clan in the backwoods of Algonquin Park. Barrett met Mary, the only bow woman who could match his strong strokes from the stern, at St. Lawrence University in 1980, where they built lifelong SLU friendships. Barrett majored in chemistry, sang with the Singing Saints, engaged in Phi Kap escapades, and had a defining experience abroad in Kenya, footsteps that all four of his children followed.
Barrett and Mary were married shortly after their graduation from St. Lawrence. In their 36 years of marriage, they thrived on adventure, exploring the outermost edges of Algonquin with legendary grace and speed. Four kids followed, and the "PTeam" sixsome packed in a single canoe on long summer trips and skated in Ottawa before long Nordic ski and sled treks to the Smoke Lake cabin in winter.
In Vermont, Barrett passed on his love of alpine and telemark skiing, a cloud of powder marking family runs in the woods. Barrett and Mary brought boundless love, humor and strength to their marriage, building an amazing partnership from the Algonquin trails, to the Green Mountains, to their streak of color and laughter tearing up the dance floor.
Barrett found his calling at Tufts School of Dental Medicine, where he completed dental school and an orthodontic residency. Upon graduating, Barrett enthusiastically joined Champlain Orthodontics in Vermont, forging bonds with his partners, staff, patients young and old, and his tight brethren of fellow dentists. He was enormously proud when some of the PTeam, shepherded by COA and local dentists, showed the same passion for the dental profession.
Barrett's life was marked by exuberance, whether it was hooting down first tracks on Jay Peak Ski Patrol, or insisting on pushing ever farther into the Algonquin wilds for speckled trout or bragging rights with the winter band of merry men. Summer always brought Big Dog bike rides; winter, a trip to the Western ridgelines and games with Taylor Hockey or on Barrett's signature backyard rinks.
Barrett's building was legendary: no less than 17 post-and-beam barn raisings; fireplaces of epic proportions; a cedar canvas canoe for each of the four kids upon college graduation and a fifth for Mary; and a hand-rendered wood memento to mark every occasion with kin and playfellows, from bowls, to serving platters, to Adirondack chairs, and everything in between.
Always harboring a bit of the renaissance, Barrett also was famous for his beekeeping, waterskiing, Volvo refurbishing, marathon running, dog whispering, pizza on the grill and pie making. Up early pounding nails, and then late enjoying shooting stars, Barrett wasted no moment of his too-short life.
Barrett is survived by his wife, Mary; his children Haley (and Gary), Conor (and Tai), Addie and Emmett. He also leaves his mother, Jean Peterson; and brothers Eric (and Cheryl) and Matt (and Aimee); along with a large extended family of in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Chuck.
The Peterson family cannot thank everyone enough who shared this long journey with us, from incredibly gifted doctors and nurses, to the teams from all walks of our life who stopped in Burlington to share stories, hugs, a meal, more often than not a chore or two. It has meant the world to us.
We will be having a celebration of Barrett's life on the 21st night of September in the Lake Champlain Islands. The following day will be a fun day of races, BBQ and dancing to raise money for a PMP cure. In the meantime, donations can be made toward a private patient room in Barrett's name at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC Foundation Miller Building Campaign at https://www.uvmhealth.org/medcenter/pages/about-uvm-medical-center/foundation/areas-to-support/miller-building.aspx or Given N-300, 89 Beaumont Ave., Burlington, VT 05401 Attn: Yael Friedman); or to support the transformational East African experiences provided to students from various colleges through St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester Program (see https://www.stlawu.edu/ciis/kenya; donations at https://www.stlawu.edu/giving or St. Lawrence University KSP Program, University Advancement, Vilas Hall, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, NY 13617, Attn: Prof. Matthew Caroteno). Here We Go Saints! Au Large!

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Published in Times Argus on Jul. 7, 2018.
Memories & Condolences
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41 entries
August 11, 2018
I remember the evening when Barrett, a senior dental student, came to interview for a spot on our team in Barre. His credentials were impeccable, plus he was a local gent who wanted to come home and pitch in. But there was one wrinkle... a pending application for an ortho residency. Sadly for us, but wonderfully for others, ortho was his calling. The geographic distance between us meant that we only shared the occasional patient, but we always had that "what if" sense that guided our professional friendship. Every patient of ours that he saw was treated to textbook standards, and every family thought the world of him. Barrett was a superb clinician, and a wonderful person. Mary, I am so sorry for you, your children, and your extended family. Life is fragile, but men like Barrett offer a wonderful glimpse of how to live it. Bravo, Barrett. My deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved him.
Bill Koch
August 4, 2018
To Mary and Family our sincere condolences.
What a profound loss of a wonderful man. He was amazing in every sphere of his life? Whether it was professionally as orthodontist for 4 of our 5 kids, or tele-skiing at Jay, or cross country skiing at Smokey Lake, he always brought his inviting smile, his infectious laugh, his indomitable spirit and his incredible positive energy. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to spend time with him...just not enough! So sorry for your loss. So sad for all of us.
August 4, 2018
Dear Mary and Family,
We are so saddened by this news of Barrett's passing. He was an original in every way as well as kind, compassionate, funny, talented... exceptional. His positive spirit, his energy, his sense of wonder in all he did, was a testament to his amazing nature and to those he loved. We will miss him greatly.
Our deepest and sincerest condolences,
The Beattie's
Jane Catton Beattie
July 31, 2018
Wendy and I were so saddened to learn of Barrett's recent passing. He was always such a fine, caring, and optimistic guy in everything he chose to pursue, whether in his personal or professional life. His energy, talent, and enthusiasm seemed truly limitless, and they were an inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to have known him. To lose such a terrific fellow at such a young age is so sad, and he will be sorely missed by all he touched along his life's path. May the memory of all the good times they shared in the past help his wonderful family through this most difficult time.
Dennis Nelson
July 19, 2018
Barrett is and was magical. What a remarkable person he was. Too soon for sure. My heart and prayers are with you all, family and many friends.
Whitney Brice
July 16, 2018
I skied across a frozen Canadian lake
I played silly card games and laughed into the night
The best pancakes fly twenty feet and land on your plate or go to the dogs
I was one of the Merry Men
Life is good.
Thank you Barrett :)
Bryan Banas
July 13, 2018
Mary, I am so sorry to hear of this. My thoughts are with you and your family. It was a pleasure being a part of your lives.

Cara Gregoire, RN
Cara Gregoire
July 13, 2018
The Vermont State Dental Society sends our sincerest condolences to the entire Peterson family. The loss of Dr. Peterson will have a tremendous impact on the dental community and beyond, he will be missed by so many. He was such an impressive individual and he has left an incredible legacy that will be remembered always.
Thank you for your devotion, care and professionalism of the dental community and beyond.
The staff at VSDS: Vaughn Collins, Diane Dumas, Jenny Pitz, and Jo-Anne Conant
Vermont State Dental Society
July 13, 2018
Dear Mary & Famiy,
Thinking of you with the passing of Dr. P.
Like many I was a patient of Dr. P and we quickly became friends. As you know he was a very special person who helped so many people. He was loved and and admired and I will greatly miss him.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Frank Cioffi
Frank Cioffi
July 12, 2018
The staff at Colchester Dental Group sends Love and Prayers to Barrett's family and staff.
We will miss his amazing spirit!
Kenneth Palm
July 12, 2018
Kenneth Palm
July 11, 2018
Jean, Eric and Cheryl, I am so sorry for the loss of your son, brother and brother-in-law, Barrett. While I did not know Barrett, knowing the three of you and Chuck gives me an understanding of why so many sing Barrett's praises. My condolences to the extended Peterson family.
Beverlee Pembroke Hill
July 10, 2018
Dearest Peterson clan, we are thinking of you every day as we have been these few years gone by. You are a remarkable family and it shows how much all of you have made a difference in this world by how many people are heartbroken at this journey and this great loss. What an amazing person Barrett is. You are so fortunate to be part of his heart & soul. A life well lived and an example to all. Our deepest condolences to you all.
Becca and Adam Weiss
July 10, 2018
Becca and Adam Weiss
July 10, 2018
Hailey became part of our family during her stay in Kenya and the bond has remained ever since with photos of the entire family. Our hearts are saddened as we share the loss of such a remarkable person whom we learnt so much about. My prayers are with you for God's strength and comfort knowing Dad has rested but fond memories and his sealed legacy will last for ever. Our love and prayers from Kenya. i
Jennifer Njathi
July 9, 2018
while I never met Barrett, I am so inspired to be a better Dad, husband, and person by his incredible example. What a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss.
Tony Cochones
July 9, 2018
Coach will be deeply missed.Sending prayers to you all.Played hockey with Addie.Many wonderful memories shared on the rink.Hugs,Jackson Family Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson
July 9, 2018
My heart and thoughts go out to the family. You were/are truly Blessed with this men in your life, may your memories bring you peace and his beautiful soul comfort you.
Maureen Beauvais
July 9, 2018
My favorite resident alien and an example for all of us on how to be the best we can be. See you next time around. Gordon (669)
July 9, 2018
Barrett was such a great spirit who touched many lives. He will be missed.
Donald Laub
July 9, 2018
Hoping your dad Ads, and the whole Peterson clan's dad the smoothest, glassiest paddle onward. As my dad The Capt. would say smooth seas and full sails onward. So sorry for your loss.Caroline Murphy
Caroline Murph
July 8, 2018
We'll miss you Barrett. Sincere condolences to the Peterson family. Best, David (645)
July 8, 2018
Deepest sympathy to Mary and the Family. I was a Hygienist at Champlain Ortho when Barrett joined the practice. He was a joy to work with! Hearing of his many projects and interests--and his love and devotion to his young Family-- were inspiring! The words about Barrett are a lovely testament to a life well-lived. God bless!
Linda Emery
July 8, 2018
Thank You Barrett for showing us the Way ❣

You are a model Family man & Father!!!

You inspired me to be a better person, helping others because you can...

I learned life lessons by listening to your passions; family, relationships and the great outdoors...

Through your leadership, You have touched people who never enjoyed your company...

I miss You and offer my condolences to Mary and your Beautiful Family
Craig Mcara
July 8, 2018
send our sympathies from las vegas for your loss.
glenn and kathie radel
glenn RADEL
July 8, 2018
So sorry for your loss.
Jean (Radel) and Len Grosso
Jean Grosso
July 8, 2018
Amazing orthodontist (and family) that surrounded our kiddo on an emergency Saturday after a significant baseball accident. He was wonderful to work with and offered such a sense of calm and healing. Rest In Peace. Wishing the family memories to hold on to.
The Littlefield Family
July 8, 2018
We we're so blessed to have Dr. Peterson in our lives with 4 kids being his patients! 1 which he worked with in cleft clinic! Who was determined to make her smile as beautiful as her soul! My thoughts are with you all at this time! He was definitely one of a kind!
July 8, 2018
What a pleasure to have known such a delightful man. Dr Peterson touched so many lives. My heart goes out to his family.
Betsy Rich
July 8, 2018
Sadness and fond memories of the life of Barrett. We shared great times with him and the rest of the Peterson family at the Woodshed. Our hearts are with you. Chris and John Engler.
July 7, 2018
Dr Peterson was a great orthodontist with a great personality and the utmost professionalism with a sincere care for his patients. His smile and personality uplifted his offices and all of the lives he touched. I only knew his professional side, but it appears he was all of this and so much more on the personal level. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I hope he shines down on all with his smile and positive personality and helps to spread these great traits to all of us. The world could use more people like him. God bless.
July 7, 2018
To the whole Peterson Family and extended Family, please accept our sincere sympathy. Barrett seemed like an absolutely amazing man, truly an inspirational human being. The world is lucky to have had a man like Barrett showing us the right way to live and inspire community.
- The Shiffrin Family
Eileen Shiffrin
July 7, 2018
Many fantastic memories from SLU and Algonquin. Barrett wil be missed, but never forgotten.
John Imhof
July 7, 2018
Mary and family,

Our prayers are extended out to you. We will miss Barrett's big smile and kind demeanor. God bless him,

Roger Brandt
July 7, 2018
Give Fred a hug! Your wonderful spirit was felt even out in Washington State.


Tracy Valentine
Tracy Valentine
July 7, 2018
My family adored Dr. Peterson. He was our favorite orthodontist as both of my sons traveled the orthodontia journey. I believe it was Dr. Peterson who created the incredible Quidditch Match installed from the ceiling in the Williston waiting room? For Harry Potter aficionados it was the bomb! Always with his infectious smile and good humor, we thought the world of him.
Our sincerest condolences go out to his family a friends.
Dianna Melville
July 7, 2018
Dr. Peterson was our favorite orthodontist as both of my sons visited him frequently over their orthodontia treatment journey. I believe it was Dr. Peterson who created the incredible Quidditch match scene on the ceiling of the waiting room in Williston!! For we Harry Potter aficionados it was a pure delight! He was such a friendly person with an infectious smile and personality. We adored him. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.
Dianna Melville
July 7, 2018
I worked for Barrett for about 3 years . He was so encouraging, funny, supportive, and just a great guy.
Pam Handy
July 7, 2018
So very sorry to hear this. Dr Barry Peterson took such amazing care of his patients. His kind, thoughtful and careful work has made a huge difference in the smiles of so many people, and we remain forever grateful to him. We join you in sorrow, and send our best wishes to Mary and the family. Sincerely,
Joan Holloway
July 7, 2018
I did not know Barrett, but I want to offer my condolences for your loss. The beautifully written obituary was a wonderful tribute to him, his family and friends.
Lynn Provasi
July 7, 2018
I have a heavy heart, but wonderful memories and visions of the smile and joy Barrett bought and gave. He had an innocence that was perfect.
Doug Haley
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