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Gary Lee Petersen
September 27, 1937 - January 14, 2019

Gary Lee Petersen was born in Albany, Oregon, to Kenneth Lee and Helene (Weddle) Petersen. He grew up in Jefferson where he attended school from first grade through high school. After high school, Gary joined the Army National Guard and spent four months at Fort Sam in Houston and trained as a Corpsman. He spent time as a cook in the Guard and the love of cooking followed him his whole life. Gary also took two years of night classes at Linn Benton Community College.

Over the years, Gary lived in several towns around the valley including Jefferson, Albany, Mill City, Gates, and finally Sublimity for the last 20 years. He worked as a meat cutter at the Jefferson Market for 2 years, BrucePac for 13 years, and Girodís Hilltop Market for 13 years, before settling in at Norpac Foods for the remainder of his career. In 1997, Gary retired from the Norpac Foods plant #1 in Stayton after 26 years as a refrigeration engineer.

Gary was very outgoing with a great personality. All who met him instantly loved him. He was very intelligent and witty. Gary was very skilled and a jack of all trades; he could fix, build, or create anything. He was also very creative and artistically inclined and enjoyed wood working and scroll sawing. He built kitchen cabinets and also created pens with his lathe.

Gary married three times, to Maria Luisa Meza, Robin Ehlers, and last but certainly not least, to Nona Schmidt whom he married on December 15, 1995. Gary and Nona enjoyed vacations in their motorhome and cooking together. They both loved and served the Lord and were very involved in their church, New Hope Community Church in Stayton. Gary served as a board member in the church under Pastor John Jendresen. He was considered a rock of the church and the pastorís right hand man.

Gary was a wonderful husband and a faithful man of God. Nearing the end of his life, he shared his faith with a boldness that Nona has never seen in him before. He even asked the hospice nurses if they knew Jesus. While he will be dearly missed here on this earth, it is a comfort to his family that they have peace in the knowledge that Gary is in the eternal arms of his Lord and Savior. And although he was tone deaf in this life, he is now experiencing the joy of music beautiful beyond our comprehension.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Gale (who died at the age of six) and Lonnie. He is survived by his wife Nona; children Erica Day, Monica Leigh Petersen, Aaron Petersen, Jaime Petersen, Sunny Steed, Jordan Petersen, Abram Petersen, Sheila Renee (Jimmy) Jones, and Vincent (Patti) Hill; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Saturday, January 19, from 1-5 pm at Weddle Funeral Service. There will be a private interment with Military Honors will be held at Pioneer Memorial Cemetery, the family cemetery in Brooks, Oregon. Celebration of Life is on Sunday, January 27, at 2 pm at New Hope Community Church in Stayton. Arrangements entrusted to Weddle Funeral Service.


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