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Louis Eric Peterson

 

Last updated 3/22/2007 at Noon



Louis Eric Peterson, 93, passed away March 12, 2007. Louis was born in Bellingham, WA, on April 2, 1913. Both his mother, Alice, and his father, John, were born in Sweden. They met and married in Bellingham while his father was constructing a city building. After construction finished, the family moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, where John had been living prior to the construction project.

Louis, an only child, then lived in Canada with his parents until age 11, when his father died of pneumonia. At this young age he then had to give up his pony and leave his schoolmates to move back with his mother to the state of Washington, where she had close friends. Louis then grew up on a farm near Monroe, WA, where he played football and was a runner on the track team at Monroe High School.

In Seattle, at the age of 20, he met and soon married his lifelong sweetheart, Marie. As the Great Depression of the 1930s spread across the nation, Louis decided to become an able-bodied seaman to support his family. Loving all things mechanical, he chose a career in the engine room on large ships. Starting out as a journeyman “wiper,” he studied hard in his free time to pass the sequential marine engineering tests. In approximately 15 years, he achieved the ultimate position of chief engineer and spent a total of 37 years in charge of cargo-carrying Liberty Ships and oil-carrying supertankers.

During World War II, he served in the Merchant Marines in the South Pacific. He lost many shipmates during the war but finally came home a war hero and spent the rest of his working career living and sailing in and out of Seattle, WA. In the late 1970s, he retired and eventually moved to Fallbrook in 1983. His beloved Marie died in 1992 after a long battle with failing health. A selfless and loving man, he courageously carried on for 15 more happy and industrious years using his many mechanical and electrical talents. He is survived by a daughter, Marlene, and a son, Lee, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and loving friends and relatives in Sweden, the US and Canada.

 

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