KEITH EDWIN PETERSON, surrounded by his beloved wife of almost 70 years and five children, passed away peacefully on May 10, 2015 at his home in Harrisonburg. Keith was the only child of Roy E. and Mildred O. Peterson, born on the family farm in Gowrie, IA, on July 15, 1922. His family homesteaded in North Dakota before moving to Bothell, WA. Keith attended Washington State University, graduating with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree and an Officer’s Commission in June 1945. It was there that he met the love of his life Dorothy J. Schwab whom he married June 1, 1945.
His career began in private practice, but he was called up during the Korean War and served two years in the U.S. Army in Boston. Keith then began his long and successful career in meat inspection with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, moving with Dorothy and their growing family to Roy (UT), Green Bay, Denver and Los Angeles before settling in Arlington in 1961. He retired in 1980.
In 1977 Keith and the family built a weekend home at Bryce Mountain to enjoy the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, skiing and golf (he got a hole in one at age 83). It became their permanent home for 33 years from which they traveled around the world. In 2006 Keith and Dorothy moved to Sunnyside Retirement Community in Harrisonburg. He was an active member of Prince of Peace Church and the Lions Club and celebrated 65 years as a Mason. Keith honed his lapidary skills creating jewelry and was involved in the Northern Virginia Mineral Club, was an accomplished bridge and pool player, and well known as an avid Green Bay Packers fan.
He is survived by Dorothy and their five children: Nancy Jenkins of Alexandria, Gregory Peterson of Front Royal, Douglas Peterson and his wife Martha Lane of Boise, ID, Kristin and her husband James Thoma of Austin, TX, and Constance and her husband Doug Benson of Fredericksburg. He will be missed by his 11 grandchildren Scott, Kristina, Angela, Monica, Sara, Olivia, Dax, Shannon, Austin, Dana and Callie, and six great grandchildren. His family was the source of Keith’s greatest happiness as he was theirs. The measure of his success is found in the close, supportive, noisy family he leaves behind.
A memorial service will be held June 1st at Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church at 10:30am with internment to follow.