Gary Duane Peterson, a longtime resident of Colville, passed away on May 27, 2013 in Spokane. Gary was born on Sept. 5, 1938 in White Salmon, the son of Clifford and Marvel (Freer) Peterson.
Gary was raised in the Vancouver and Newport, OR areas and graduated from Newport High School in 1956. After graduation, Gary began working at Yaquina Bay Lumber Company and a few years later he joined the National Guard as a Reservist, where he used all his free time taking his training in the eveÂ¬nings and weekends.
In 1965 he transferred to the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber ComÂ¬pany and continued with them until his move to the Colville area, where he obtained a position with Avey Brothersâ€™ Lumber Company (now known as Boise Cascade).
On Dec. 10, 1971, Gary married Elizabeth â€śBetteâ€ť Coffman Wonch. With his move to Washington, he transferred from the Oregon National Guard to the Washington National Guard and served until his retirement in 1998. Gary then served for 13 years in Washington State Guard. He continued working for Boise Cascade until 2001, when he retired.
Gary loved working with wood and built beautiful furniture. He was also a huge sports fan and spent many hours watching golf, auto racing and football. He enjoyed playing golf with his friends until he was no longer able. Gary was very active in the community with his involvement in the Elks Lodge, The Colville Eagleâ€™s Lodge and District 92 A.A. The â€śDrill Sergeant,â€ť as his family knew him, was always very direct, but those who were near to him always felt his love.
He is survived by his wife, Bette Peterson, Colville; daughter, Julie Holt and husband, Ken, Castle Rock; sons, Ronald Gene Wonch and wife, Sherrie, Okanogan; Larry Allen Wonch and wife, Kris, Colville; Kenneth Leroy Wonch, Colville; Joseph MarÂ¬tial Wonch, Walla Walla; John Peterson of California; sister, Madeline Favro and husband Dick, Bellevue; 13 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial celebration for Mr. Peterson will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 20 at the Colville City Park, with Pastor Shane Moffitt officiating. A reception will follow.
Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com.
Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory has been entrusted with the arrangements.