Monday, December 28, 2015

We will miss you, Hank Peterson (1932 - 2015)

Photo by Vincent Rojo
Obituary from Peabody Funeral Home, Londonderry

Peterson's Sugar House, Londonderry, NH

Henry, “Hank” A. Peterson of Londonderry, passed away on December 23, 2015. He was born on June 15, 1932 in Hurley, Wisconsin, son of John “JB” and Gertrud (Matila) Peterson. He grew up in Hurley on the family farm. The farm and Peterson Sand and Gravel is still in the family, owned and operated by nephew Scott Peterson and his wife Kathy. Hank was in the Wisconsin National Guard for 14 years, in the 725th Engineer Battalion. He worked on the Ski Patrol at Sugar Bowl Ski Area in California, and for the Forest Service in the summers, fighting wildland fires. He worked in the developing field of avalanche control and safety, travelling to Alaska, Utah, California, British Colombia, and Chile. In Chile, his job was to teach the Chilean Army how to shoot down avalanches with artillery.

In 1962 he married Anne Kaiser Davis of Brockton, MA. They settled in Lakewood, CO. While he lived in Lakewood he worked for Snowblast, a commercial snow removal company specializing in airports and railways. His job there took him back to Alaska, all over the continental US, and to Turkey, Switzerland, and India. In 1978, the family moved to Londonderry, NH. Here Hank got back into farming, raising beef cows, putting up hay in the summer, working at Mack’s Apples in the fall harvest season and sugaring at Peterson Sugar House in the springtime.
He continued a long family tradition of being a Grange member, and was Master there from the mid-80s until his death. His steadfast support of the Grange carried it through a period of declining membership to see the organization reinvigorated in recent years. He was a fixture at the spring Plant Sale and the fall Wreath Sale. He was very grateful for all the hard work put into maintaining the building by Boy Scout Troop 521. Peterson Sugar House was built in 1983, and hosted countless tours of school children from Londonderry and surrounding towns. He was ably assisted over the years by his family and a loyal crew that would turn out every spring to tap, gather, boil, and can during the rush of sugaring season. The syrup was sold at the farm as well as at Mack’s Apples, where he will be fondly remembered by all his friends.
Hank was a strong supporter of the NH Maple Producers Association, serving as the Secretary and President over the years. He was inducted into the American Maple Museum Hall of Fame in Croghan, NY in 2005. He cut and baled hay both on the farm on Peabody Row, on neighbors’ fields, and around town. You could often see him driving down the road on a red tractor, moving hay equipment from one field to another during the summer months, or hauling a towering load home on his truck, usually with a trailer towed behind as well. That same red tractor pulled many a float in the Old Home Days parade. He was a long time Farm Bureau member, and a big supporter of NH Agriculture in the Classroom, a program to teach NH school children about where their food, fuel, and fiber come from.
He is survived by his wife Anne and son Wayne, as well as his brother John G. Peterson of Ironwood, MI; sister Helen Peterson of Ironwood, MI; stepbrother Dennis Nolan of Duluth, MN; stepsister Jean Martin of Duluth, MN; nephews Todd Peterson of Denver, CO, Scott Peterson of Hurley, WI, Clint Peterson of Vail, CO and Nicholas Peterson of Grand Lake, CO; nieces Nan Peterson of Madison, WI and Chris Peterson of Madison, WI. He was preceded in death by his brother Richard Peterson of Vail, CO and stepbrother Jack Nolan of Ironwood, MI.
Services will be held in early spring in Londonderry, NH and Hurley, WI. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to NH Agriculture in the Classroom, c/o Debbie Cox, 295 Sheep Davis Rd. Concord, NH 03301.
Visit the Peabody Funeral Homes website to leave a condolence note or view others.


Also see a video at YouTube by Cheryl Senter "Making Maple Sugar with Hank Peterson 2009 Londonderry, NH"   

and a slide show at YouTube, narrated by Hank Peterson, by Robert Hammerstrom "Maple Syrup is a Lifestyle for Hank Peterson"   

1 comment:

  1. May God kindly bless his dear soul,and memeory,friends.