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Obituaries

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Robert E. Peterson, 95

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Robert Edwin Peterson of The Cedars, Chapel Hill, N.C.,  formerly of Westport, died Dec. 6. He was 95.

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Robert Peterson: 37-year Westport resident. Contributed photo

Born in Harvey, N.D.., he was director of commercial and industrial patent licensing for RCA Corp. in New York City until his retirement in 1987.

Receiving his degree in electrical engineering from North Dakota State University in 1942, he also attended graduate programs at Harvard, MIT, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Rutgers University.

He was awarded five patents for his inventions in the fields of electronics and light sources. After retirement, he founded Altherin Associates, a patent licensing consulting firm and later became vice president, licensing, for the Patent Enforcement Fund.

During World War II, as a naval electronics officer, he served in the Pacific Theater, as radar station director on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands. He retired from the USNR with the rank of lieutenant commander in 1955.

He also held a private pilot’s license, and belonged to Sigma Phi Delta fraternity, Alpha Beta Tau honorary society and the Licensing Executive Society of America.

In May 2011, he was selected to participate in the World War II Veterans Flight of Honor to the memorial in Washington, D.C.

As a resident of Westport for 37 years, he was a member of Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, the Patterson Club, and the Y’s Men of Westport Weston.

After moving to Cary, N.C, in 2002, he joined St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Prestonwood Country Club. He relocated to The Cedars in Chapel Hill in 2006.

Interests included honing his billiards skills with his Cedars friends, water color and oil painting, acting, music appreciation, history, and Sudoku.

For his 95th birthday in April, his family took him to the western North Carolina mountains where they all celebrated at a beautiful cabin in the woods. Known for his friendly way, and genuine interest in people and love of family, he will be greatly missed, his family said.

Norma MacKenney Peterson, his wife of 65-plus years, predeceased him in November 2011. Survivors include daughter Pamela Peterson Johnson and spouse Reuel, of Raleigh, N.C,, son Robert E. Peterson Jr and spouse Carol, of Concord, Calif., son Roy A. Peterson and spouse Billy McNeel, of New Carrollton, Md., grandchildren Erin Johnson Lewis and spouse Christopher, Althea Johnson, Britta Peterson, and Max Peterson, and great granddaughter, Finley Lewis.

Interment will be at Mayflower Cemetery, Duxbury, Mass. where there will be a graveside ceremony on Dec. 12.

Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association.

Posted 12/08 at 04:15 PM

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