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Obituary - Ira 'Pete' Peterson

November 1, 2022, Ira "Pete" Peterson joined the love of his life in Heaven. He was 82.

A celebration of life will be held in summer of 2023 in Havre, Montana, and Pete will be laid to rest with his beloved Mary Ann.

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

Please visit Ira's online memorial page to send a card or leave a message of condolence for his family at http://www.hollandbonine.com .

Ira was born in Kalispell, Montana, April 4, 1940, to Ira and Caroline Peterson. Ira spent his early years in Kalispell, playing football and baseball and graduating from Kalispell High School.

Ira moved to Havre in 1958 to attend Northern Montana College. There he met and married Mary Ann McLain February 7, 1959, in Havre at St Jude's Catholic Church. They had four children, Greg, Barbara, Tammy and Tim.

After working in a variety of professions across Montana and Wyoming, Ira and Mary Ann returned to Havre to settle down. Ira developed his love of trains through his career in railroading. He started as a brakeman in 1966 with the Great Northern Railroad and rose to conductor, splitting time between routes to Glasgow and Whitefish. After more than three decades riding the rails, Ira spent the remainder of his railroading career traveling around the country for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad conducting workforce safety training courses and retiring in 2005.

Never one to sit idle, Ira started Peterson Builders in the 1970s as a part-time business building rock walls and fireplaces in the Havre area. Ira adored his children and grandchildren, and he helped his grandsons Travis and Justin Solberg obtain their rank of Eagle Scout. His other hobbies included woodworking and holiday decorations. The Peterson house on 17th Street in Havre was routinely recognized for its elaborate holiday decorations including thousands of lights and festive holiday figures. Ira took his love of the Christmas holiday a step further in 2016 by attending Santa Claus school in Calgary, Canada. Sporting the authentic outfit and his trademark Santa beard, he brought as much joy to families as it did for him serving as Santa from New York to Seattle and many places in between.

Ira and Mary Ann had the opportunity to travel across the United States and Canada. They enjoyed going to Broadway plays, sporting events, and concerts and exploring new cities. Mary Ann passed away in March 2017, the year they celebrated 58 years of true love and happiness.

Following Mary Ann's passing, Ira reunited with a childhood friend, Donna Larsen. They married and lived in Issaquah, WA. Ira and Donna enjoyed traveling to Arizona and Mexico to get away from the inclement weather of the Northwest. At the time of his passing, they lived in Bellevue.

Ira was preceded in death by his parents, Ira Peterson and Caroline Minette; his beloved wife, Mary Ann; and his daughter Tammy McLaughlin (Ed).  

He is survived by his children Greg (Pam) Peterson, Barbara (Bill) Clayton and Tim (Annette) Peterson; five grandchildren, Travis (Silver Banks) Solberg, Steven (Krystal) Peterson, Justin (Samantha) Solberg, and Ethan and Claire Peterson; and five great-grandchildren, Mason Peterson, and Brody, Bryden and Brielle Solberg, and Saffron Solberg.

Ira is also survived by his siblings, Melvin (LuAnn) Peterson, Gordon Peterson, Harvey (Leanor) Peterson, Gloria (Dewey) Morgan-Jones and Rose (Lowell Alcock) Cloninger.

His children and grandchildren held a special place in his heart.

He will be forever loved and missed by his family.

 

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