CAPT ERIC L. PETERSON, USN (RET.) SIGNAL CHARLIE
Captain Eric L. Peterson, USN (Ret.), 60, died peacefully at home on November 4, 2002, after a courageous battle with cancer. A native of Waverly, N.Y., where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout, Eric graduated from Wayland High School, Wayland, Mass., earned a NROTC scholarship to the University of Minnesota and in 1964, was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. On November 1, 1965, CAPT Peterson earned his wings and Navy Helicopter Pilot designation #8105 in HT-8 at NAS Ellyson Field, Pensacola, FL. Eric served his country well as a helicopter pilot and ship captain for 29 years. Highlights of his naval career include tours as Commanding Officer of two helicopter squadrons; HC6 in Norfolk, and HC3 in San Diego; Captain of the USS Tripoli LPH-10 homeported in San Diego, and Commodore of Amphibious Squadron Two in Norfolk. While Captain Peterson thoroughly enjoyed flying helicopters and the challenges and camaraderie of naval service, he especially liked being a mentor to the younger pilots, sailors and marines. In retirement, Eric made time for delayed hobbies: landscaping, woodwork, reading, travel, and all the wonderful community and college activities Williamsburg provides. He particularly loved being actively involved and nurturing his six grandchildren. He was a friend to many, always willing to lend a helping hand. He will be greatly missed by his family, all who knew him, and those whose lives he touched. Captain Peterson is survived by his beloved wife of 38 years, Priscilla; his parents, Larry and Evelyn of Horse Shoe, N.C.; his daughters, Kathi Thomas of Norfolk, and Kristen and her husband, CDR. David Kirk of Woodbridge; his brothers, Alan and wife, Nancy, of Williamsburg, and Jon of Clayton, N.J.; and many in-laws, nieces and nephews. His grandchildren, Michael, Emily and Peter Eric Thomas, and Nathan, Noah, and Sarah Kirk, will grow up and carry on Granddaddy’s legacy of integrity and honor. The Peterson family wishes to thank the doctors and staff of Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Vicki Turner, home nurse from Personal Touch and Williamsburg Hospice Center volunteers for their compassionate care and support. The family further wishes to extend their grateful appreciation to the many neighbors and friends who provided a listening ear, prayers and steadfast help in this time of need. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: The Eric Peterson Perpetual Book Club at the Williamsburg Library, 15 Scotland St., Williamsburg, 23185; Williamsburg Hospice Support, 4445 Powhatan Parkway, Williamsburg, 23188; or the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 123, Washington, DC 20004. The family will be available from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday evening, November 10, at Nelsen Funeral Home and a memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, November 11, at Nelsen Funeral Home, Williamsburg. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will take place on a later date.