Dean August Peterson, 83, of Groton, New York, left this world to be with his creator, on February 4th, 2021. He was the oldest of three sons belonging to Lt. Commander Loyd and Ina Peterson. Dean was born in Minnesota and traveled frequently throughout his youth as a result of his father’s service in the United States Navy. During his youth, Dean enlisted in the Marine Corps. After five years. he was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Sergeant. Upon completion of his tour of duty, he settled in Jackson, New Jersey, and became a member of the Jackson Police Department. Dean eventually ascended to the rank of Captain, and was instrumental in the formation of their K-9 Unit. In addition to many commendations, Dean was credited with saving the lives of five children that he rescued from a burning apartment building.
Dean was an aviation enthusiast. He pursued this passion by owning and operating personal aircraft, attaining his commercial pilots license. During these years, Dean logged many hours flying to the Florida Keys to visit his family. He also loved sailing, and often found solace on or near the water. Dean’s outgoing personality and love for life eventually found a home in community theater. He appeared in a total of twelve critically acclaimed “Red Oak Music Theater” productions throughout the 1980’s. Dean loved music, but was best suited in comedic roles, in addition to serving on their Board of Directors. Dean had a fun-loving, gregarious personality who amassed innumerable friendships. He had a presence, both on and off stage, that made a lasting impression on all who had the pleasure of his company. In his later years, Dean cared less about being the spotlight, and more about his small circle of intimate friends, with whom they all shared a mutual respect, and undying loyalty. Dean eventually relocated to upstate New York. He initially served as a Claims Adjustor for Hanover Insurance before accepting a position with the New York State Department of labor as a Public work wage investigator . Dean enjoyed his quiet life in the country, as it gave him the opportunity to be close nature. He loved all kinds of animals, as he would do whatever he could to care for them if they needed food, shelter, or comfort.
Dean was a member of Groton City Church, Groton, New York. He is survived by his wife, Joyce (nee Scheper), and his three daughters: Denise Weber, Tampa, Florida; Deneen White, Orlando, Florida; and Justine Peterson, Key West, Florida. His grandchildren include Christopher (C.J.) White, Sierra Wiley, and Joshua Weber. Dean is also survived by his two brothers: Loyd G. Peterson, Fairfax, Virginia, and Lt. Commander Bruce Peterson (Ret.), of Summerland Key, Florida. He leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and memories, and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. No services are scheduled at this time, although a celebration and memorial of this remarkable man’s life will be scheduled at a later date.
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