On Friday June 28, 2019, Stanley Abernathy Peterson’s wonderful life came to a close. Born
to Ruthford Peterson and Lily Faye (Abernathy) Peterson on Oct. 4, 1922 in Vinton, Iowa, Stan
lived 96 years with a positive exuberance that touched everyone who knew him.
Stan’s lifelong love of hunting, fishing, and sports began with childhood summers in Vinton
where he fished the Cedar River almost every day. He played football in high school, adding
wrestling and trick horseback riding at Iowa State University where he graduated with a BSEE
degree in December 1943.
In 1944 he joined the Navy and married his college sweetheart Virginia “Ginny” Mendenhall.
He served on the Submarines USS Sturgeon and USS Cusk as an electronics officer. Upon
discharge in 1946 he joined the Navy Underwater Sound Lab in New London, CT. He spent his
30 year career developing and managing sonar systems and in roles at the Pentagon, retiring
as Director of Tactical Warfare Programs in DARPA.
Stan is survived by his wife Virginia of East Haddam, CT, children Bruce (MaryKay) of
Falmouth, MA, Barbara Sweeney (Robert) of Worthington, MA, and David (Pamela) of
Voorheesville, NY, his brother James of Cedar Falls, IA, three grandchildren and three great
grandchildren. Throughout their 75 year marriage, Stan and Ginny shared their love of nature,
camping, gardening, their many dogs, and their family and friends. Stan, an Eagle Scout, was
active in Boy Scouts for many years and was a longtime member of the Hadlyme
Congregational Church, serving as deacon and doing maintenance for decades.
Upon retirement, Stan was a multiyear volunteer catching and measuring fish on the North
Slope of Alaska as part of his son Bruce’s ecological research. Stan and Ginny traveled widely,
mainly fishing, from Cape Hatteras, to Wyoming, to the West Branch of the Penobscot River in
Maine. A highlight was a 6 month trip around the world with Ginny during which he fished
some of the world’s best trout streams in New Zealand. Everywhere he went he made long-lasting
friends and added to his endless supply of stories, which he told to most everyone he met.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at the Hadlyme Congregational Church on Saturday August 10, 2019 at 2:00 pm.
Please make any donations to the American Heart Association or Trout Unlimited.
To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com
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