Bill Peterson

Bill Peterson, 97, Oroville, Wash., died Oct. 16, 2020, he was born in Lynn, Mass. on Oct. 30, 1922.

Bill Peterson

Bill Peterson, 97, of Oroville, Washington, passed away on October 16, 2020 at Extended Care in Tonasket. He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on October 30, 1922 to William (Sr.) and Adria Peterson.

Bill’s family settled north of Ellisforde, Washington when he was seven-years-old, and he lived in the area for the rest of his life. Bill attended school in Ellisforde and Tonasket. As a child, he spent a year of his life bedridden with Rheumatic Fever. Fortunately, he recovered and flourished. At Tonasket High School, he was class president, quarterback of the football team, played basketball, competed in track and field and graduated in 1941.

Bill worked a variety of jobs in the years following high school. During World War II, he stayed home to help care for his ailing father. He had a strong sense of loyalty and the desire to always do the right thing was a guiding principle throughout his life.

Bill married Margaret Lund in 1947. They had three sons: Greg, Jeff and Roger. Bill was an excellent provider for his family. He planted a 10-acre apple orchard, worked full-time as an apple packing foreman at Oro Fruit Company and still found time to build his family a house, where he lived until the last few weeks of his life.

It was a difficult time for Bill and his sons when Margaret passed away suddenly in 1970. He married Nina Reese in 1973; they spent over 45 years together. Nina’s health deteriorated in her final years and Bill was her full time caretaker until she passed in 2019.

Bill enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, hunting, skiing and working in his orchard and garden. He had a curious mind, always seeking to learn new ideas and skills. He took up woodworking in his 70s, creating wooden bowls, Christmas decorations and replica Oro Fruit bins. Bill was a long-time member of the Ellisforde Church of the Brethren, where he served on the board, sang in the choir, helped maintain the pipe organ and performed many other duties.

Bill Peterson was, by all definitions, a truly good person who gave much more than he took, and the world is a better place because of him.

He is survived by son, Jeff (Adrienne) of Richland, Washington; Jeff’s daughter, Ellen; Greg’s sons Eliot and Daniel and Roger’s son, Andrew.

He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Adria and Hank; first wife, Margaret; second wife, Nina and sons Greg and Roger.

A celebration of life will be held at a future (post-pandemic) date. Contributions in Bill’s honor can be made to Okanogan County Transportation and Nutrition ( or the North Valley Hospital Foundation (

Okanogan County Crematory is in care of arrangements.