Alan Oscar Peterson, born August 19, 1950, passed peacefully into Life Eternal on November 8, 2019. Alan was kind, patient, fun-loving and compassionate. Born and raised in Astoria, Oregon Alan excelled at athletics from a young age, playing baseball, basketball and golf.
He and his family were active members of Peace Lutheran Church. Alan loved growing up in Astoria and has many fond memories of his childhood and early adulthood living there. He was thrilled to attend the Astoria High School 50th Class Reunion in 2018, where he reconnected with many classmates and friends. Alan attended Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) in Monmouth, Oregon from 1968 to 1972, graduating with a degree in sociology and criminal justice. There, he met his wife of 49 years, Karen, and they married on June 14, 1969. They started a family soon after.
Upon graduation, Alan moved his family to Ontario, Oregon where he was hired as a juvenile detention counselor for Malheur County. In 1977, Alan and his family moved to Newport where he became the Juvenile Director for Lincoln County, a job he held until 2010. Alan had a passion for youth and was an advocate for juvenile justice reform, favoring second chances and rehabilitation over punishment. He was proud to serve the youth and community of Lincoln County as its Juvenile Director for over 35 years, where he oversaw the expansion of the juvenile department to include a shelter home and detention facility. He was integral in the formation of the Children’s Advocacy Center in Newport, OR. Over his nearly 40-year career, Alan served on many local and state child and youth advocacy boards and agencies, and mentored many people in the juvenile justice profession. Alan was an active member of Newport Optimist Club and a long-time member of Atonement Lutheran Church in Newport, OR. Alan enjoyed being an active community member and volunteer, delivering food and gifts to families over the holidays, volunteering in the Optimist booth at the Seafood & Wine Festival, and recruiting new members for the church basketball team. Possessing a strong work ethic, Alan was proud of his yard and garden and his amazing Christmas lights that for many years rivaled Clark Griswold’s display.
Throughout his lifetime, Alan was an avid Oregon State University Beavers fan, attending nearly every OSU home football game from the 1970s through 1990s with his daughters. Alan enjoyed golfing, fishing and camping. He was proud that he was able to share his love of the outdoors with his daughters. After retiring, Alan and Karen moved to the Seattle area to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren. In 2015, after Karen’s devastating Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Alan remained a devoted husband and caregiver to his wife and provided unwavering strength and guidance to his daughters and family as they navigated Karen’s final years.
Predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Karen Peterson; parents, Althea and Roland (“Pete”) Peterson and older brother, Gary Peterson, he is survived by his three daughters; Kristina Peterson, Arissa Peterson (and son-in-law Nick Papa), Kathleen Peterson (and son-in-law Brian Richmon); his five grandchildren, Anders (15), Alan (14), Solveig (12), Abby (9) and Annika (6 months); sisters-in-law Diane Peterson, Marjie Brock (Ed), Marilyn Stronach; and brothers-in-law Michael Stronach (Masae), James Stronach (Keiko); and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held on December 7, 2019, at 1:00 PM at Sunset Hills Funeral Home, 1215 145th Pl SE, Bellevue, WA 98007.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org or Swedish Medical Center Foundation, www.swedishfoundation.org. A special thank you to the physicians and staff at Swedish Issaquah and Providence Hospice of Seattle who took such good care of Alan.