Eric Peterson, 95, husband of Sarah K. Peterson, died April 20, 2020, in Franklinton. He was born on July 6, 1924, in Sunnyhill, to the late Oscar H. and Eveline Bond Peterson. Eveline was from Manchester, England, and Oscar was originally from New Orleans. He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers, Oscar, Jesse, Leif and Charles Peterson.
After he graduated from Franklinton High School in 1941, he served in the U.S. Maritime service from 1941 to 1950, serving and rising to the rank of lieutenant. He was first officer on the U.S.S. Herman Melville on June 6, 1944, the invasion of Normandy. Additionally, he served as an officer on the Nenana, a stern wheeled steamboat, in the years before Alaska was a state. After the war in Europe, he purchased his own ticket to the west coast and was hauling supplies for the allies when Japan surrendered in 1945.
From auction barn owner to truck farmer to constable, he always gave his best. Upon his return to the states, he became the founder and sole owner of the Pearl River Towing Company (P.R.T.) from 1958 to 1970. P.R.T. grew from a shrimp boat that was converted to a tugboat, to a fleet of vessels over the years moving thousands of barges of sand, gravel, from Bush to New Orleans. Other cargos, including parts for nuclear reactors, were moved across the Southern coast from as far west as Houston, Texas, and up the Eastern seaboard as far north as Newport News, Va. After selling P.R.T., he and his family moved to Oklahoma in 1970, where he purchased a ranch of 1,700 acres and about 600 cows. After a few years of harvesting hay all summer and feeding hay all winter, he decided he wanted to go somewhere that he did not have to do double work. In 1975 the ranch in Oklahoma was sold and another was purchased in Paraguay, South America, where he ranched until 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah; son, Darryl Peterson and his wife Debbie of Bogalusa; son, Dr. Yancey Peterson and his wife Chrishawn of Roswell, N.M.; his daughter, Krystal Peterson of Franklinton; and son, Kitch Peterson of Wichita, Kan.; and 11 grandchildren, Daron Peterson, Flynt Peterson, Bryce Peterson, London Peterson-Gross, Zach Peterson, Gunnar Peterson-Gross, Azelin Aragon Peterson, Eziah Aragon Peterson, Noamiah Aragon Peterson, Adaliela Peterson, and Landry Matthew Peterson. He is also survived by one great granddaughter, Lacey Rose Peterson; three nephews, Craig, Bill, and Fred Peterson; as well as one niece, Catherine Chick.
He lived life fully and fought the good fight. Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home of Bogalusa will oversee his final arrangements. The family invites everyone to sign the guestbook online at www.pooleritchiefuneralhome.com.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, services will be private at Palestine Baptist Church Cemetery of Bogalusa. Memorial gifts may be made to Boots and Saddles Cowboy Church of Folsom, or to B.E.A.M.S. (Bible Education and Missionary Service that provide free Bibles in native languages across the world), 15444 Duckworth Road, Gulfport, MS 39503.