Cumberland Times-News

July 15, 2013

A. E. “PETE” PETERSON JR. [Keyser, W.Va.]


Cumberland Times-News

— KEYSER, W.Va. —  A. E. “Pete” Peterson Jr., died Saturday, July 13, 2013. He was in the place he loved the most, his mountain home, surrounded by family and friends.

Born Feb. 23, 1945 in Huntington, W.Va., he was a son of the late Mildred (Fox) and Arthur E. Peterson Sr.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kristin Peterson; his son, A. E. “Trey” Peterson III of Morgantown, W.Va.; his sister, Rebecca Markle of McCoole; a sister-in-law, Amy Swain and husband Bert of Derwood; nephews, Stephen Tyler Tackett and Donna Love of Huntington, Jonathan Swain of Indianapolis, Ind., Travis Swain of Derwood; and a niece, Kelli Swart and husband Brett of Athens, Ohio. The family would also like to acknowledge Pete’s special friendships with Tim Mosser, Mark Nash and Darin Bosley.

Pete was a man of many talents and areas of expertise. Over his lifetime, he worked as a designer, musician and carpenter.  During high school, Pete performed widely in the Huntington area in local folk groups and later in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a Professional Certificate in Technical Theatre, Set and Lighting Design. He worked for eight summer seasons with the WV Historical Drama Association in Beckley, W.Va. Pete held various positions there including actor, instrumental director and musician in the outdoor dramas “Hatfields and McCoys” and “Honey in the Rock”

In the early 1970’s, Pete worked professionally as a theatre technician at the Arena Stage in Washington, where he met his wife, Kris. Following their wedding in Beckley, they settled in the Keyser area and built a cabin on Knobley Mountain. For several years, Pete traveled throughout the east coast with Wayside Theatre of Middletown, Va. and then Theatre West Virginia as technical director and musician. In between tours, Pete spent summers with the National Forestry Service working weeklong trail rides in and around Berkeley Springs, W.Va. For two fall hunting seasons, he was the trail cook for a professional elk hunting operation in Durango, Colo.

Highland Arts Unlimited recruited Pete to be the Mineral County Artist in Residence for three years in the early 80’s.  During that time, he designed and built the Amphitheatre at Larenim Park, directed and designed sets and lighting for local theatrical productions and taught classes in technical theatre. He also designed and built the gazebo and playground at Mill Meadow Park.

In later years, Pete worked as a carpenter, specializing in decks and playgrounds.

Music was always and integral part of Pete’s life, and he was proud that he was able to pass on his love of the guitar to his son, Trey. Highlights of his life included all-night music sessions with friends, salt-water fishing and boating, attending Trey’s baseball and football games and collaborating with his wife, Kris, as they expanded their home.

Friends and family will be received at Markwood Funeral Home, Keyser, on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 from 1 to 3 p.m.  

A private memorial celebration for close friends and family will be held at the Petersons’ home on Wednesday at 5 p.m. with Bishop Martin Townsend officiating.

Bring stories and musical instruments.

If desired, memorial contributions may be directed to Rex Riffle, Mineral County Parks, 150 Armstrong St., Keyser, WV 26726 for the maintenance of Larenim Park.

Condolences may be left for the family after Pete Peterson’s obituary at www.markwoodfuneralhome.com.