Ronald (Ron) Curtis Peterson, a devoted Christ follower, servant, friend, beloved father and grandfather, went to be with Jesus and his wife, Cathy, On September 12, 2021, in Beaumont. California. He was 76 years old.
Born in Northfield, Minnesota on December 15, 1944, to Milton and Dorothy Peterson, Ron grew up in New Richmond, Wisconsin, on the family's dairy farm along with his two brothers, Milton (Bump) Jr., and Michael.
Ron was involved in 4-H clubs throughout his youth, raising his own livestock, including champion hogs which eventually paid his way through college. Ron's dedication and drive carried over into everything he pursued in life. Always pushing himself toward excellence, Ron wrestled competitively in high school and college. As the middle child, he often found himself competing with his brothers as well.
Ron attended college at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, majoring in agriculture and animal science. A member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, he studied animal science, and would go on to teach others about his knowledge of the industry.
During his sophomore year of college, Ron met Catherine (Cathy) Fechner on a blind date set-up by close family friends. The city girl from St. Paul, Minnesota and the headstrong farm kid were a match made in heaven, with a love story that has left an enduring legacy. Ron and Cathy would go to spend 53 years as husband and wife.
They were an amazing team, pursuing the Lord fervently and putting Jesus at the forefront of every decision. Over the next five decades, faith was the foundation for their family. They raised three children together (Brian, Eve and Erika), moving from coast to coast and enjoying the tremendous opportunities that come with living in the United States of America.
Ron began his professional career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of captain, at the Little Rock (AR) Air Force Base. Following his service to the nation, Ron and Cathy moved back to New Richmond, where he taught at the local technical college and worked for Doboy Industries. The family moved to Inverness, Florida when Ron took a job with Cargill Industries. From there they moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he worked as an executive for the W.R. Bonsal Company.
W.R. Bonsal eventually sent Ron to Southern California to run their west coast operations in 1982. After a few years, Ron organized an investment group to purchase Bonsal's west coast facilities and that company would become Paragon Building Products. As president and part owner of Paragon, Ron built a company that generated tens of millions in revenue. He couldn't have done that without Cathy, who worked alongside him. In 1998, Ron left Paragon and formed the Covenant Foundation with Cathy. From 1998-2015, they were owner/operators of Redlands Express Lube, an automotive maintenance and repair facility in Redlands, Calfornia.
For more than a decade, Ron, who could always be seen in his signature Express Lube uniform, served the Redlands community with trust and devotion. Customer service was always his top priority.
Ron and Cathy had an amazing heart for others. Family was far more than blood relations. The two helped start Hope Unlimited Church in Banning, California in 2004. After Cathy's death in 2018, Ron maintained his focus on missions and spreading the Good News. He was ordained as minister in 2020 and helped his grandchildren launch a new church-HopeUC-in Quitman, Arkansas in September 2021. On August 22, 2021, he married Mary Ann Sudak Shelton, who also had a heart for missions and had hoped to continue his pursuit of sharing the Gospel.
Ron is survived by his wife Mary Ann; his children (Brian and Jennifer Peterson, Eve and Ken Spicer and Erika Cypert); his eight grandchildren and spouses (Amanda and Will Gutierrez, Josiah and Paige Spicer, Dylan and Kaitlin Cypert, Caroline and Adam Duxter, Sam and Sierra Spicer, Bradley Cypert, Catherine Peterson, and Savannah Cypert); and his seven great grandchildren (Ezra, Zion, and Zaiden Gutierrez, Holly and Salem Spicer, and Asher and Samuel Spicer).
Ron is preceded in death by his wife Cathy, son Bradley Ronald, mother-in-law Hilde Fechner, and parents Milton and Dorothy Peterson.
In lieu of flowers, Ron would want people to give-their time, gifts, and talents-passionately and selflessly. Don't ever waste a second of the wonderful life we are given. Ron never did.
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