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William (Bill) Leonard Peterson died peacefully on 03/23/2023 at the age 93. He was born on August 8, 1929, the son of Atle Leopold and Annetta Iley Peterson. He was raised on a farm near Madrid Iowa and attended a one room country school through 8th grade. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Simpson College in Iowa where he met his college sweetheart Jane McCoy. They were married on October 14, 1951. Bill was predeceased by his wife in 2020 sharing over 68 years of love, support and companionship.
Bill is survived by two children David Peterson, and Katherine (Peter) Ross, three grandchildren, Eric (Stephanie) Ross, Alice (Nick) Elliot, Jenny Peterson, and five great grandchildren, Everett, Mac, and Isla Ross, and Foster and Harrison Elliot, all of whom were the love of his life. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Gerald Ross, his sister Dorothy (Bernard) Swanson, and brothers Carl (LaDean), and Edward (JoAnn).
After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Bill was employed by Price Waterhouse in St. Louis, MO. In 1965 he joined Ball Corporation in Muncie, IN. He retired from Ball as vice chairman of the board and chief financial officer in 1992. He then served two years as President and CEO of Jarden, a newly formed company consisting of a spin off of several divisions of Ball. He remained as its board chairman until 1999.
While in Muncie, Bill served as Chairman of the Board of ANB Corporation, and Director of Mason Corporation. Bill was instrumental in the development, financing and construction of 60 miles of railroad right-of-way multi-use trail, serving as its first Executive Director. Bill was involved with community organizations in Muncie including United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Ball Brothers Foundation, and Community Foundation. He was a member of High Street United Methodist Church and served on several committees and boards. Bill also served on the board of trustees of Simpson College from 1985 to 1996.
In Muncie, Bill and his wife enjoyed 17 years at their house on the “farm” with horses, dogs, peacocks, sheep and a pond. Their next residence, a contemporary house on the river, was their relaxing retreat.
In 1993 Bill and his wife purchased a home in Savannah, Ga, moving there full time upon retirement. Bill volunteered at the Landings gate and library, and later the Marshes Residents Association Council and marketing and operations committees. Bill and his wife were active members of Skidaway Island United Methodist Church (SIUMC), where he served as treasurer and on several committees. Bill and his wife Jane were supporters of Savannah Philharmonic and Savannah Music Festival.
Singing in choirs brought great joy to Bill. From college glee club, to Air Force barbershop, Muncie Methodist Church, to over 20 years with SIUMC, Bill brought his rich baritone voice. When singing in the pews, all who sat near felt the energy of his voice.
Bill and his wife enjoyed traveling to various destinations including Singapore, New Zealand, Russia, Kenya, and several European and South American countries. They loved and spent enjoyable times out-of-doors camping, canoeing, fishing, backpacking, bird watching, gardening, and other activities.
Bill was blessed by the amazing friends he made over the years. A true gentleman, he will be remembered for his warm and caring personality and devotion to family and friends. For the last few months of his life, Bill brought his ‘million dollar smile’ and kindness to the Oaks; to whose caring staff the family has deep gratitude.
A memorial service will be held at the Skidaway Island United Methodist Church at 1:00 on Wednesday March 29, with a reception to be held immediately after the service. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Cardinal Greenway fund in the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, P.O. Box 807, Muncie, IN 47308, Skidaway Island United Methodist Church, 54 Diamond Causeway, Savannah, GA 31411, or the charity of your choice.
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- Memorial Service
- 1:00p.m. on Wed, March 29, 2023
- Skidaway Island United Methodist Church
54 Diamond Causeway (map)
Savannah GA 31411