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Richard J. Peterson, 82

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Richard Jay Peterson, 82, of Williamstown died on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at Baystate Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. 

He was born in Mechanicville, N.Y., on July 6, 1934, a son of the late Louis & Grace (Curtis) Peterson Meehan and stepfather Clifford Meehan. He moved to Williamstown in 1945 and graduated from Williamstown High School in 1952 and was president of his class. 

He went to the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at University of Massachusetts from 1952-1954 and got an associate’s degree in Forestry. He was a decorated veteran of the United States Army during the Korean Conflict from 1954-1956. He later worked for the US Forest Service as a research technician. He worked for 32 years for the Williamstown Water Department and was the superintendent for the last 12 years before retiring in 1997. 

Richard was a member of the Northern Berkshire YMCA, where he participated in the swimming program. He was also a member of the Williamstown VFW and the American Legion, where he served on the funeral honor guard. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Cheshire and a member of the Pownal Valley Swinging Seniors. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and he was a very proud grandfather. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, boating, beetree hunting, and traveling – taking many cruises throughout the world with his wife. 

Richard is survived by his loving wife, Phyllis (Nugent) Peterson; they were married on January 16, 1982. He is also survived by three daughters, Lynne Mary Merrill and her husband Chris of Seattle, Wash., Kim Harwood Gordnier and her husband Craig of Richmond, Mass., and Deborah Harwood Kelly and her husband Kenneth of North Adams; a son, Leonard Harwood Jr. of Columbia, S.C.; his former wife, Julia (Lasson) Peterson; 13 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

Funeral notice: A service to celebrate the life of Richard Peterson will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 1 p.m. at the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, West Chapel, 521 West Main St. North Adams, MA 01247. 

Calling hours will be on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Burial will be at a later date with full military honors. Donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital or for United Methodist Church of Cheshire through the funeral home.

Obituary Provided By: Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Dear Kim: So sorry for the loss of your father. I am sure he will always hold a special spot in your heart.
from: Sandra Prestonon: 02-17-2017

I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you & your family.
from: Rose Schnoppon: 02-16-2017

Kim, I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
from: Mary Jane Dunlopon: 02-15-2017

Kim: I am so sorry for your loss - your dad sounds like an interesting and beloved man. My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.
from: Ann G Spadaforaon: 02-14-2017

Phyllis and family,
We are saddened at losing a good friend. He was such a nice person. We enjoyed his company and he will be missed. We keep you in our thoughts a prayers.
from: Ron and Charlene Jameson: 02-13-2017

Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
from: Selma Collieron: 02-13-2017

To the Peterson family, It saddens me to hear of Dick's passing. He was truly a wonderful man and always interesting to talk with. He would share wonderful stories on fishing, traveling and of course his chickens. He was most proud of his family. He will be missed. my sympathies to you all
from: Dawn Luskin-Carrieron: 02-12-2017

Mr. Peterson was a guaranteed smiling face. He was a great neighbor and will be missed.
from: Sandy and Dan Racineon: 02-12-2017

Rest in peace, Dick. You are missed. I think of you when I see Adirondack pictures.
Jennie Pierce
from: on: 02-11-2017

Phyllis, I was so sorry to read about Dick's passing! I knew him from when I took care of his mother. He was a real nice guy! My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family.

Mary (Trombley) Bellonger
from: on: 02-11-2017

Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.
from: Tina Bolner (Nicklien)on: 02-11-2017

Mr. Peterson was a guaranteed smile every time we saw him. He was a great neighbor. So sorry for your loss.
from: Sandy and Dan Racineon: 02-11-2017 Text Ads

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