February 20, 1930 - August 26, 2022
Ronald “Ron” Orrin Peterson
February 20, 1930 – August 26, 2022
Ronald “Ron” Orrin Peterson, of Portland, Oregon, passed away the evening of August 26th, 2022. He was 92 years old. Ron died peacefully of natural causes with his trusted caregiver, Lili, by his side. Ron’s former wife, Norma Heyser, was with him earlier in the day before he passed. Family members arrived shortly after Ron passed to be with him in spirit and to support each other.
Ron was born on February 20th, 1930 to Rudolph Orrin Peterson and Helene Veronica Peterson (née Kendzierski) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The family moved to Astoria, Oregon when Ron was 8 years old. He grew up in Astoria and always considered himself a true Oregonian. Just out of high school, Ron served in the Air Force as a Supply Sergeant in Europe during the Korean War. He spoke fondly of the sites visited and the memories made during his time in the service.
Upon returning home, Ron continued his life-long love affair with art, attending the Museum Art School (now the Pacific Northwest College of Art) in Portland, where he met Norma, who would later become his wife. Ron and Norma were passionately involved in the art world, from working at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to eventually opening the New Gallery of Contemporary Art in the heart of southwest Portland in 1958. Ron also shared his love of art through co-instructing the “Explorations in Art” course at Mt. Angel College. Ron was known by many as the “Art Guy” and maintained his love of art his whole life.
Ron and Norma welcomed two sons into their creative home and settled in Lake Oswego in the 1960s. Ron became a successful house painter. Together with Norma, he helped form the First Additional Neighborhood Association in Lake Oswego. Later, he wrote, published and distributed the “LONAC Letters” newsletter for the Lake Oswego Neighborhood Action Coalition for 11 years. Neighbors spoke often of Ron’s journalistic excellence and considered him one of Lake Oswego’s most distinguished citizens.
Ron will be remembered as a devoted father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. His family still gushes about his sweet demeanor, his roaring laugh, and his annual concertina birthday serenades. Ron’s spirit will live on through his sons Abbo and Heinka, three grandchildren Tyler, Cole, and Paige, great granddaughter Eloise, former wife Norma, and his entire extended family and friends. We are all so lucky to have known him. He will be incredibly missed.
It was Ron’s wish to forego a traditional service. In lieu of flowers, his family asks for those who cared for him to consider making a donation of any amount to the Audubon Society in his honor, as birds have always been a great source of joy in Ron’s life.