Donald Peterson
1929 - 2021
H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel
173 Allen Road Ne
Sandy Springs, GA


April 1, 1929

-September 16, 2021

Donald Peterson died peacefully at his home in Roswell, Georgia, at the age of 92. He was born in Sandstone, Minnesota to Martin Theodore and Margaret Mildred Peterson (née Dezell). Upon graduating from Maynard High School, he served in the U.S. Navy (1946-47) as a communications specialist aboard the U.S.S. Iowa (BB-61). After leaving the Navy, Don joined the Air Force. Don attended the University of Minnesota from 1947-1950, then transferred to Gustavus Adolphus College, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in business. He married the former Lois Ruth Taylor in 1952, accepted a position with Prudential as an underwriter, and moved to Golden Valley, Minnesota, while welcoming five sons into their home by 1961 (Wyatt, Winston, Whitney, Westley, and Webster). After purchasing a small community bank in Western Minnesota, Don moved his family to Murdock in 1967, where he became a city councilman, and was elected mayor in 1972.

Don was devoted to the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) becoming a lifelong member starting in 1954 and later serving on the Club's national board of directors for 12 years. In 1962 and '63, he served as the director of the CCCA's Upper Midwest Region (UMR), leading the region from last to first for the CCCA Bigelow Trophy (overall club participation and performance), a reign that lasted for seven of the next ten years. He got his start in automotive magazine production as editor of the UMR's Windshield Post from 1961 to 1963, winning the club's Turnquist Trophy for the best regional magazine all three years, a publication that then went on to win the award eight out of the next ten years. In 1965, the CCCA instituted its Citation for Distinguished Service, and Peterson was proud to accept the first award (along with Gordon Maynard of California).

In 1974, Don left his beloved Minnesota and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he met and married the former Edie Tannenbaum. Together, they raised their son, Ryan, who was born in 1986. In 1977, Don was hired as the first editor of Car Collector magazine, a position he held for 14 years, and a magazine for which he became half owner, ultimately selling it in the mid-1990s. He started his own automotive appraisal business in 1974, Classic Car Appraisal Service, which he continued to run with four of his sons right up to his death.

For Don, traveling was always on the forefront of his mind. If he wasn't on tour with a Classic automobile, he was traveling overseas with family and friends to some 110 plus countries, covering all seven continents. He boasted of driving an estimated two million miles during his excursions, more than 300,000 of them in collector cars. His favorite trip in a Classic car was in 1995, during the CCCA Coast-to-Coast Caravan. Don – along with a change of passengers between sons Wyatt and Ryan, and his wife, Edie – drove his 1930 Packard 734 Speedster on a one-month tour around the U.S. (most of the way without a support vehicle), putting tire to pavement in 48 states and adding almost 10,000 miles to the car's odometer. Don was on at least 73 Caravans, more than any other person.

Don is survived by his wife, Edie; brother Jerry; sons Wyatt (Mercea), Winston (Mary Jo), Westley (Laura), Webster (Kari), and Ryan (Jason); six grandsons; and 11 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Whitney.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 beginning at 1 o'clock followed by A Celebration of Life memorial at 2 o'clock at H.M. Patterson and Son, Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Rd., NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. There will also be funeral and interment services later by Washburn McReavy Funeral Home in Bloomington, Mn. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Donald's life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Salvation Army or Gustavus Adolphus College at 800 West College Ave., St. Peter, Mn 56082.

Published by Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sep. 20, 2021.
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H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel
173 Allen Road Ne, Sandy Springs, GA
Celebration of Life
H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel
173 Allen Road Ne, Sandy Springs, GA
Funeral services provided by:
H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel
Sponsored by H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel.
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6 Entries
My deepest sympathy to Don's family. He was a true antique auto mentor to many. Enjoyed his company on many CCCA Caravans.
Marc Ohm
September 25, 2021
Dear Edie, Although it's been many years since we've seen you and Don, we fondly remember our travels with you and the adventures we shared. Please accept our sincere condolences for your loss. Sorry we can't be with you today.
Stuart and Kathy Berkowitz
September 22, 2021
Steve and Robbi Ortman
September 21, 2021
Don will always be an unseen presence in every CARavan or CCCA event we attend! We will miss him. Prayers for the family. God Bless y'all !!
Steve and Robbi Ortman
September 21, 2021
I had the great pleasure to meet Donald Peterson when he appraised my client's 280 SL. I remember him going over the car with a magnet which fell off constantly because it was hitting bondo all over the place. Ultimately my client got all of his invested money back plus his legal fees and the cost of Donald Peterson. I later recommended him to appraise a Porsche 914 in a divorce case and the value he established controlled the subject. He was a lovely man, a precise and detail-oriented appraiser and, with all of this, a modest man who was, of course, a major player in the collector vehicle world. I subscribed to his magazine until it ceased publication and then switched to Hemmings. Hated doing it. Don Peterson was a MENCH!
Donald A. Weissman
September 20, 2021
Dear Eddy, Donald was such a dear friend. I called him the Pope of the antique auto biz. He enabled me to get involved in the show circuit by finding a way to get me into the Greenwich Concours. I showed Volvos there for years. Volvos were dear to Donald's heart but never very popular with the shows. They were too practical a car. I remember Don sloshing through the mud in a torrential downpour at Greenwich with that same great attitude he always portrayed. "It's just a little rain, no problem". Don has been my mentor for the better part of my restoration career. He's always generously and pleasantly counceled me in ways of making progress without shooting myself in the foot . Our shared April Fools birthday may have given us an astrological connection which has defied understanding. I am trying to make changes to my life based on the model he has shown me. Enjoy it while you can ; but get out while the gettin's good. So I was not sat work to get the message of Don's passing. Timing may be important or not ; but he will always have a big place in my heart wether he is with us or with our Creator. I will miss Don so much and look so forward to meeting up with his "upstairs" Love to you all Alan Prosser
September 20, 2021
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