Mr. Michael Ray Peterson of Auburn, Washington was born on June 13, 1953, and passed away on December 3, 2022, in Seattle, Washington.
Michael Ray Peterson, age 69, of Auburn, WA succumbed to chemo induced Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) on December 3, 2022, with family at his side. Mike beat back Hodgkin’s Lymphoma three years prior, but developed leukemia just a few short months ago.
Mike married Nancy Mrachek-Peterson 38 years ago. They raised two sons: Robert and Patrick.
Mike was born on June 13, 1953, in Vancouver, Washington to Helen Roberts and Jim Purvis. He was the second of their three children. Helen later married Johnny Anderson and had four more children. Helen died tragically when Mike was only eight years old. The children’s uncle, George Roberts, and his wife Pat, fostered Mike and his six siblings, Rick, Merry, Rodney, Eugene, Ramona, and Bryan. In 1962, Mike and Rick were adopted by Lynn and Betty Peterson. Betty’s sister, Tiny HuntzInger, knew Mike and his siblings before their mother’s death. Tiny read about their mother’s accident and death in the newspaper and encouraged the Petersons to adopt Mike and Rick. Lynn Peterson had to borrow a suit coat from Uncle George to stand in front of the judge for the adoption proceedings.
The boys grew up on the Peterson family orchard in Zillah, in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. Mike thrived on the farm, where he helped his parents with the orchard. Mike, like his brother, learned to fly at an early age. Mike excelled in sports and academics in school. He earned an appointment to the Naval Academy at Annapolis. A paperwork snafu caused Mike to change course. He attended the University of Washington on a full ride ROTC scholarship. He was so proud to be a Husky. After Mike graduated, he joined the Marine Corps, serving overseas and at Camp Lejeune until separating from the Corps as a 1st Lieutenant, in October 1980.
Mike moved back to Washington after leaving the Corps and became an IT specialist following graduation from Highline College. Mike enjoyed working in the tech field. He was on the ground floor of Microsoft’s build up.
Mike had a few life altering events. A serious car accident when the boys were little caused a brain injury which required a change in careers. Mike was told he would never work again, but if you knew Mike, you know he didn’t accept that. He was able to drive semitrucks, like he had while working on his family’s orchard many years before. Mike continued working until he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2019 when he retired for medical reasons.
Mike had a few favorite hobbies, one was shooting. As a Marine, he was awarded Expert Rifle and Pistol Badges and was proud to be able to share his safe gun handling knowledge. Mike also dabbled in knife making, he hoped to do more of it when he retired…but stupid cancer got in the way.
Mike was a giver. When the boy scout troop he was involved with needed new leadership, he became scoutmaster. A volunteer position he excelled in. Mike was a strong mentor, evidenced by the number of Eagle Scouts who awarded him with their mentor pins. Mike would always shed a tear when receiving those awards, believing there were others that were more deserving. Mike continued serving until his health got in the way. He would say, “How can I expect scouts to be at meetings, when I can’t attend regularly!” That was Mike, he held himself to a high standard.
Mike was diagnosed with chemo induced leukemia in September of this year. He vowed to fight just like he’d fought in the past. Mike and Nancy celebrated their 38th year anniversary in October. Mike told the medical staff that his goal was to make it to their 40th year anniversary. That wasn’t to be…God must have needed him more than we did.
Mike is survived by his wife, Nancy and two sons, his five younger siblings, numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. Plus, his two pups Cooper and Asher. He was preceded in death by his birth mom, Helen, George and Pat Roberts, Lynn and Betty Peterson, his brother Rick Peterson, and aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Mike will be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery, in Kent, Washington.
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