Donald Lee Peterson, 85, passed away peacefully on March 9th, 2018. Don was the son of George Peterson and Leota Hightshoe, and was born in Ashland, NE on November 28th, 1932. After WWII, they moved to California where Don attended Ripon High. After graduating in 1951, he applied for and accepted a position with the Southern Pacific Railroad as a fireman in Engine Service. In 1961 he graduated into the position of locomotive engineer, where he remained until retiring in 1955. His railroad career was a total of 44 years (minus his military hiatus). Don served in the US Army for two years, first with the 546th Field Artillery Battalion at Ft. Lewis, WA, and then the 5th Army Headquarters in Chicago, IL. Prior to his Army service he raced both motorcycles and cars, and received several First Place awards. During his Army service, he was introduced to competitive target shooting, and that led to a 38 year calling in the sport of small-bore target shooting. He competed in numerous shooting matches in both position and prone competitions, and won numerous state championships, awards, medals, and trophies. He achieved the High Master ranking, with a lifetime achievement awarded to him in 1991. After retiring from shooting he remained active in the shooting arena by working as a range officer at various shooting matches, most notably for 15 years running the Western Wildcat’s western states championship match in AZ. He also loved reading, fishing, and hunting, and in 2004 he made his lifetime dream trip to Africa to go on safari.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years Joy Lou Peterson, his son Matthew Shane Peterson and wife Cynthia, his daughter Diane Lynn Feichtmeir (née Peterson) and husband Kris, as well as 8 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held at the Heartland Community Church in Ripon on Saturday, March 17th, 2018 at 2pm. In lieu of flowers a donation can be sent to Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club.