Ronald Roy Peterson passed away peacefully, in his home, on August 4, 2021. Ron, a life-long resident of Butte, Montana was born on April 15, 1942 to Roy H. Peterson and Mary Lou Dedman. After attending schools in Melrose and Dillon, Ron entered the Marine Corps (1960). He was honorably discharged on August 28, 1966. Ronald married the love of his life (Sandra Lynn Wilhelm) on October 22, 1966 in Butte, Montana. Together they worked incredibly hard to create a beautiful life for their family. Ronald was a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather.
Ronald was preceded in death by his parents, sons Michael Lloyd and Ronald Roy. He is survived by his wife Sandra Peterson, daughters Ava (Rusty) Talbott of Melrose, and Malissa (Jeff) Crane of Butte. Grandchildren Josh (Erica) Chamberlin of West Lynn, Oregon; Nycole Chamberlin of Salmon, Idaho; Michael Crane of Butte; Casey (Brittany) Peterson of Rexburg, Idaho; Heather (Eric) O’Connell of Butte; and Brittnee Crane (Dean Brown) of Butte. Ron was also a very proud great grandfather to 17 wonderful littles. Brother Dale (Peach) Shelton of Great Falls, Montana and sister Sally (Mike) Ritthaler of Yachats, Oregon. Sister-in-laws Karla (Rick) Valentini of Echo Lake, Montana; Kara Wilhelm of Butte; Wrenie (Steve) Knutson of Helena, Montana; numerous nieces, nephews and so many friends.
Ron’s family would like to extend a special Thank You to his nephew Gary Shelton, and to some of his special people including: Marty (Dana) Salusso, Pat (Jan) Fitzpatrick, Bill Pierre, Ron (Lynda) Evans, Mike Lawson and his adopted daughter (Michelle Yates A.K.A. The Nanny) for all that you have done for our parents over the years! A very special thank you to the members of the Marine Corps League Detachment #724 of Butte for their unwavering support and dedication to Ron and his family during their times of need.
Ron was a resilient Marine with a heart of pure gold. His impact on this world is insurmountable. Be it a stranger or one of his own, Ron was always giving his time to people in need. Ronald concentrated every year on Toys for Tots, to help ensure that the children of Butte had a memorable Christmas. A Marine’s heart shows Honor, Courage and Commitment. Ron held true to those values and taught them to numerous others throughout his life!
Ron became a member of the Masonic Temple, and later a Shriner, to help raise money for Shriner’s Children’s hospitals. After his Sister-in-law (Wrenie) was treated in a Shriner’s hospital, Ron became devoted to the cause. Ron’s wife (Sandy) created a pink panther costume that Ron wore in the 4th of July parade for many years, before passing it on to the next generation of Shriner’s.
Ron was a lifetime member of the VFW and the Marine Corps League. He was active in both, and held many offices over the years (local and state levels). Most recently, he was the SGT of Arms in the Marine Corps League. He took part in many funerals to honor our military. Ron worked to help bring the new VA retirement homes to Butte and would spend time almost every day “supervising” the construction with his fellow Marines from the “mini hooch.”
Ronald was a devoted and loving husband to his wife through her illness, showing her his unconditional love every day. Ron’s greatest attribute to his family is the care he took of his bride Buffy (Sandra). He lit up her world simply by walking in the room. We will be eternally grateful for the nurturing, compassionate, and loving time he gave to make her feel loved and valued.
There are so many people that held a special place in Ron’s life, if you became one of his people, you were family whether you were blood or not. We love and appreciate all of you!
Our family is very proud of the man he became in our lives. He is our biggest supporter, advocate, friend, and hero. There is a huge hole in our lives that will forever be filled with the memories he made with us. We have pictures of the special moments throughout our lives, because as Ron would say, “one day those people will be gone.”
Ron showed great strength, loved his country, loved his people, loved his dogs, showed respect to all, and was a steward of the land.
Life will not be the same without you!
The last few years, Dad’s favorite thing to do was ride his side-by-side, in the mountains that he loved so much. We invite you to take one last side-by-side ride with our Dad. On August 21, 2021 at 11:00 am we invite all to the Melrose Presbyterian Church for funeral services organized privately by the family. Following the service, Dad will lead the parade to his final resting place at the Melrose Cemetery. Then, we would like to invite everyone to join one last hoorah in the name of Ron Peterson at the Melrose bar.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Ron are suggested to the Butte Toys for Tots.
Please visit below to offer a condolence or share a memory of Ron.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Ron and his family.