Milford C. "Mel" Peterson

Born: Thu., Mar. 8, 1923
Died: Fri., Jul. 29, 2016

Celebration of Life

10:00 AM Sat., Aug. 06, 2016
Location: Episcopal Church of the Redeemer

Graveside Inurnment Service

10:00 AM Mon., Aug. 08, 2016
Location: Olney Cemetery

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Milford Clay (Mel, Buddy, Pete) Peterson

March 8, 1923 – July 29, 2016

Milford Clay (Mel, Buddy, Pete) Peterson, 93, of Pendleton OR, passed away on Friday July 29, 2016, at home of natural causes.

The Celebration of Life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on August 6, 2016 at The Episcopal Church in Pendleton Oregon.  Rev Charlotte Wells of the Episcopal Church will be officiating. Inurnment will be held on August 8, 2016 at Olney Cemetery at 10:00 a.m. Sign the online condolence book at Funeral arrangements are being handled by Burns Mortuary of Pendleton.

Mel was born in Turtle Lake, North Dakota on March 3, 1923. He graduated from Santa Monica High School, in Santa Monica California in 1941. In high school he excelled at pole vaulting, track and basketball.  Two days after graduation he enlisted with the Army Air Corp.  He graduated from flight school at Luke Air Field in Arizona in 1942. Mel was married to Vera Lee Fortier on January 16, 1943; they were married 68 years when she passed away in 2011. Mel flew the P47 Thunderbolt in WWII.  He was stationed in the European Theater and flew 102 missions over France and Germany.  He was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Mel worked as and became a skillful brickmason from just after his return from WWII until he retired in 1985. Many of the brick buildings and fireplaces in Pendleton are the result of his craftsmanship.  He loved hunting and fishing and all sports. He was active with the VFW providing door security for basketball tournaments and for more than 40 years supported the Happy Canyon during the Pendleton Round-Up by running a lot and parking cars.

Mel is survived by his children, Stephen Peterson (with Gloria Flint) and Tiah Peterson (with Jeff Engelman); his siblings, Beverly Cameron (spouse Gary Cameron), and James Peterson; grandchildren, Jody Reedy, Seth Peterson, Amanda Peterson, Desirae Peterson-Raffety, Kenton Peterson, and Dylan Clemons; and eight great grandsons and one great granddaughter; and caregivers Traci Hallos and Robin Lehneis - without whom Mel could not have stayed at home. 

Mel is preceded in death by his parents, Harry Peterson and Hazel Peterson-Berg; his wife, Vera Lee Peterson; sisters, Thelma Robinson and Dolores Bellas; brothers, Clinton (Dick) Peterson and Ronald Peterson; children Milford Clay (Pete or Chief) Peterson Jr and Sandra  Dee (Sandy) Peterson.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to The VFW Cowboy Breakfast. The family of Milford Clay Peterson wishes to thank St. Anthony Hospice Program, Department of Human Services Senior Services Program, Dr Harrison and his entire office.

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Condolence Booklet

   Posted Fri July 29, 2016
I was his caregiver for 2 1/2 years i already miss him so much<3

Elaine Loftis
   Posted Fri July 29, 2016
My sincere sympathy goes out to all the families of Mel Petersen. Les and I had a lot of good times years past. Such a grand person. Rest in Peace Mel.

Muryl Navratil
   Posted Sun July 31, 2016
Milford has become a special friend of mine & I will miss him & wish to express my sympathy to his family at his passing.He gave much enjoyment with his service experiences he related as we visited together. Thank you Mel you will be in our thoughts & prayers .

Bob and Sherry ReeseT
   Posted Sun July 31, 2016
Tiah, Our hearts are so with you and your family at this time. We know this has been a
long journey for you, and pray you sense God's comfort in the days ahead.
With love, Bob and Sherry Reese

Lillian, David and Daniel Mitzimberg
   Posted Sun July 31, 2016
Our families grew up together and have been family friends long before I was born (dan). I would have bet money you were to ornery to go. I was wrong. Mel I miss getting a cane in the side when I wonder by during tournament, have missed that for a few years. You always asked about mom and how how she was doing, mom always wondered about you. In case I forgot to tell you, she is doing fine. Rest easy.

Marcy "Snode" Willingham
   Posted Mon August 01, 2016
Grew up with the Peterson family, Mitzimberg family up in Sargent city. I didn't know Mel too well, but did know Vera, Sandy, and Steve well. Seems like a life time ago. Prayers to Steve and family for peace and healing. If there is anything I can do Steve, please let me know. Rest in Peace Mel.

Schmitz Family
   Posted Tue August 02, 2016
Tiah and Dylan our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family during this difficult. time. We know that your dad and grandpa "Mel" will be dearly missed by all of you. He is at peace now and we hope that your memories will bring you peace, strength, and comfort.

Kurt and Joann Kinder
   Posted Tue August 02, 2016
We have rally missed Mel at Elkhorn hunting these last year's. Will always remember our time them. May God grant Steve and family peace and comfort at this time.

Sonya Sallee
   Posted Tue August 02, 2016
Steve and the rest of the family, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how it hurts to lose your parents. But just remember that your dad is now back with Vera and they are at peace. Hes also hunting again with dad and giving heck to the "Happy Hooker." That is the only thing that he called Darrel the last few years. RIP Mel. Love you man

Gloria Moxley
   Posted Wed August 03, 2016
Mel will definitely be missed. I will always remember our good times at our camp outs. Could always rely on his good humor and sunny personality.

eleventh hour warrior
   Posted Thu August 11, 2016
We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our hearts and prayers.

Mike Senneff
   Posted Sat October 15, 2016
Dear family,
I had the honor of speaking by telephone to Milford in May of 2016 when I was researching the history of his P47 squadron during the war. He was a wonderful person to talk to. I so much appreciate the service that he provided for his country.
Mike Senneff
Bettendorf, Iowa

Mike Senneff
   Posted Sat October 15, 2016
Dear family,
I had the honor of speaking by telephone to Milford in May of 2013 when I was researching the history of his P47 squadron during the war. He was a wonderful person to talk to. I so much appreciate the service that he provided for his country.
Mike Senneff
Bettendorf, Iowa

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