Atkinson — Charley Willis Peterson, 71, of Atkinson died Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 along Interstate 65 near South Vinemont, AL.
Visitation was held Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022 at Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson with a prayer service.
Visitation will be continued from 9-10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022 at the First Presbyterian Church in Atkinson.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022 at the church in Atkinson. Pastor Wayne Owens will officiate. Music will be provided by organist Karla Lawler and soloist Bonnie Krysl.
Pallbearers will be Nicholas McCarville, Clark, Kirk, Willie, Jamie and Chuck Peterson and Michael Kratz.
Honorary pallbearers will be Roland Paddock, Wayne Baker, Butch Mehl, David Sonnenberg, Richard McIntosh, Cliff Peterson, Butch Baker and Dale Clements.
Burial will be in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Atkinson with military graveside rites conducted by the Norton-Carlisle Legion Post 115 of Stuart.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Charley was born June 1, 1951 in Bassett to Willis Clifton and Helen Arlene (Elder) Peterson. While growing up he worked in the hayfield, fed cattle for his father and participated in numerus Quarter Horse shows.
He attended the rural school at the home ranch through the eighth grade, where he met his favorite teacher Ferne Livingston. He was an alumnus of the second graduating class to the newly built West Holt High School.
With the ongoing Vietnam War, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, Dec. 30, 1970. Due to a shortage of equipment from the war, he conducted the first half of basic training at Fort Lewis, WA in cowboy boots. Once he received his Army issue boots the arches in his feet broke, but that did not prevent him from completing his training with the use of crutches. His flight to Vietnam was redirected to Germany where he spent three years in the service as a tank and heavy truck mechanic. He received an honorable discharge Dec. 14, 1973 at the rank of Specialist with the Good Conduct Medal.
His first horse was a half Shetland named Tuffy. He would ride Saturday mornings and re-enacted scenes from the Lone Ranger television show with his cousins. As early as age 11 and with the support and encouragement of his father and mother, Charley began competing in American Quarter Horse shows. He went on to win several state championships and a couple world championships throughout the years. Always willing and able to assist with learning, he would teach others to ride and the art of showmanship.
During his participation on the Quarter Horse circuit, he met and courted Frostina L. Webb. They were married April 30, 1977 and worked the home ranch before moving to Grand Island where he took up truck driving.
Charley's travels have taken him to every corner of America, occasionally crossing into Mexico and Canada. Logging an estimated 10 million plus miles behind the wheel, he was always friendly and sociable with the untold thousands of people he met along the way.
His self-sacrifice and caring nature that defined who he was throughout his life was demonstrated in his final hours. His final act, in an unavoidable situation, secured the preservation of life over his own. For this and countless other acts throughout his life, Charley will always be remembered as a loving father and hero to his family.
Charley is survived by one sister Mary Bye of Isanti, MN; one son Casey (Jessica) of Ozark, AL; three daughters Jamey (Tony) Jones of Doniphan, Kendra (Nicholas) McCarville and Kelley (Levi) Arends and husband Levi, all of Grand Island; 12 grandchildren; two sisters-in-law Anne Peterson of Lake Elsinore, CA, and Linda Peterson of Stuart; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers Tim and Jerry Peterson.
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