Life Story / Obituary
Full of life and always equipped with a joke to brighten someone’s day, Darrell Peterson was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. An avid sports fan, there was never enough sporting events to go around. In his later years, he loved officiating track meets at Kenowa Hills and being a member of the chain gang as well as part-time announcing for JV Freshman football with his brother, Howie. Darrell and his buddies loved to catch a big high school matchup or attend a local track meet to watch an up and coming speedster. Always on the go, Darrell modeled living life to the fullest. He was a genuine lover of all people. His quick-wit and charm, as well as his listening ear and guidance, will be deeply missed by his family and special friends.
The 1940’s were characterized by WWII. In the year Darrell was born, the Pentagon, considered to be the world’s largest office building was completed. Due to shortages, America experienced its first rationing of canned meats, butter, cheese and cooking oil. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was created and The Glenn Miller Orchestra provided the most popular music of the time. On October 31st, 1943, Arthur and Mabel (Carlson) Peterson welcomed home their fifth child in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born to a furniture maker and a homemaker as parents, his birth brought much hope and happiness to the family home. As the youngest in the family, he always said he learned everything from his two older brothers, Mel and Howard, some of it was not always a good thing.
A lifelong resident of the community he loved, Darrell attended Stocking Elementary and grew up on the Westside neighborhood near 10th and Tamarack NW where he also delivered the newspaper. His love of sports dates back to his early years playing football and Varsity baseball for Union High where he proudly graduated with the Class of 1961. After graduation, he continued to play on intramural sports teams as well as played softball on a church team and bowled and played golf for years. His strong work ethic landed him employment driving a truck for the Howard Davidson Company where he gleaned his skillset of map reading and a keen sense of direction. Long hours of driving helped him develop a fondness for the Golden Oldies and he had memorized a long list of songs from this era.
He proudly served with the National Guard for six years and during this time he met the woman of his dreams, Pat Carlson while attending youth group at First Evangelical Covenant Church. After a three year courtship, they joined in marriage on April 14, 1967. Eager to build a life of their own, the happy couple settled into an apartment near Fremont and 12th St. They were excited to move into their dream home in Alpine Estates along with their two children; Kim and Craig. As a father, he was the biggest cheerleader no matter what they set out to do. Nothing brought him more joy than his children’s successes! When Craig was playing on the Varsity basketball team, they never sat together. Darrell was in the top row videoing the game and giving play by play commentary. Pat often remarked that he knew more than the coaches themselves! As a family, mealtime became an important focus to share their day’s activities as well as their devotions and they never missed Sunday worship service over the years.
Darrell’s faith was unshakable and he passed down his love of the Lord to both of his children. Some of their happiest memories, however, were shared at Portage Lake Bible Camp which is where he had accepted the Lord into his life as his Savior and Lord at a young age. And that is why camp was such a special place. He wanted his children and grandchildren to have the experience he had and to grow to love the Lord and camp like he did. Because of this and the area, it inspired them to purchase their own cottage on Portage Lake where they made many lasting memories. After truck driving and some time working in carpet and flooring sales, Darrell’s two-year business degree with Davenport College paid off when he launched his own business, Eastpointe Interiors which afforded him many pleasures in life.
Retiring in 2003, gave he and Pat ample time to pursue their varied interests. He treasured many long afternoons fishing and golfing. As a matter of fact, he had sets of friends all over Michigan so that wherever he was, he could play golf with them. Friday was set aside for “Fruitport National” with good friends. He was blessed one year with a lifelong dream of playing at Spyglass, Poppy Hills, and Pebble Beach. With his unending love for fishing, Darrell spent many hours’ salmon fishing on friend’s boats on Portage Lake and Lake Michigan. He also took a week each year bluegill fishing with friends on Canada’s Rice Lake. When it came to relaxation, he was always watching some form of sports, especially his MSU Spartans. There was no other team (especially that other team on the east side of the State.) He and Pat also enjoyed several memorable trips together including Florida, Utah, and Arizona as well as cruises! Those of you who knew Darrell, knew his love for ice cream and Oreo cookies. He even had a special song he would sing about the cookies that his grandsons would roll their eyes at. He knew where every Dairy Queen was and even found the one and only Dairy Queen in Alaska while serving on a mission team. So after a long work day, that was their nightly stop.
Nothing brought his heart more joy however than the day he became a grandpa! He loved his 3 grandsons whom he affectionately nicknamed, Huey, Dewey, and Louie! Attending their sporting events, renewed his spirits and he was never one to miss an activity. By 2015, “Peanut,” or Anna, his first granddaughter arrived and he simply melted at the sight of her! The two of them were quite something together. As soon as she would walk through the door, she would immediately run to find her Papa! Sadly, his Carcinoid Syndrome continued to take a toll on him and the last four months were extremely difficult. On Sunday, December 31, 2017 he passed away at Butterworth Hospital with his family by his side. Our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa, lost his earthly battle with cancer but gained his Eternal inheritance in Heaven with his Lord and Savior. He will be missed by all who loved him but our Faith assures we will see him again.
Darrell Peterson, age 74, of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord and Savior on December 31, 2017. He was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Mabel Peterson; in-laws, Gaylord and Gerry Carlson; brother, Ken and Doris Peterson; and sister, Evelyn and Frank Moxon. Darrell is survived by his wife of 50 years, Pat; children, Kim and Tim Theeuwes and Craig and Lisa Peterson; grandchildren, Tyler, Zachary, Luke and Anna; brothers, Mel and Donna Peterson and Howard and Donna Peterson; brother-in-law, Steve and Linda Carlson; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Darrell loved his Lord and cherished his family, church family, and friends. He was an avid golfer and an enthusiastic sports fan. The Memorial Service will be held at 11 AM on Friday, January 5, 2018, at First Evangelical Covenant Church, 1933 Tremont NW. Friends are invited to visit with his family from 5-8 PM on Thursday, January 4, 2018, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Memorial contributions in his memory may be made Portage Lake Bible Camp. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.