Born on December 25, 1932 in Dubuque, Iowa to Reuben Peterson and Fern McCurdy Peterson, David D. Peterson was an only child. In 1933, during his first year of life, the family moved to Butte. They eventually moved to Bozeman, and subsequently to Billings where he graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1950. Following his graduation from high school, Dave enlisted in the United States Navy and served in the United States Naval Intelligence Office while stationed in San Diego, California. After his Honorable Discharge in February 1956, Dave enrolled at Eastern Montana College and began working at Greyhound Lines in Billings where he met Marilyn N. Stensos. Dave and Marilyn were married in 1957 and would have celebrated their 63rd Anniversary in December. Dave and Marilyn eventually became the owners and operators of the Greyhound Bus Depot, and after 39 years serving the traveling public with his unique sense of humor, Dave retired in 1990.
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For over 50 years Dave was an active member of Billings Masonic Lodge #113, serving in numerous offices throughout the years and as Worshipful Master in 1973. He dedicated much of his time mentoring young Masons and impressing upon them his strong sense of community service. A lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Dave served as the Billings Chapter DAV Commander from 1993-94. For many years Dave volunteered to personally drive veterans locally for medical appointments, as well as many trips to the Veterans’ Hospital in Miles City. His focus, as with all things, was to provide a personable and compassionate experience for any veteran that he had the honor to serve.
When Dave was not pursuing his interest in woodworking, coin collecting, reading, playing “glove” with Mickey (his favorite Boston Terrier), cheering for his Boston Red Sox, he enjoyed time with his grandchildren and their many endeavors. For many years, Dave volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and served as their general “fix-it guy”, allowing items destined for the landfill to find new purpose and life. He and Marilyn, always together, logged many happy hours at the Metra and volunteering at the Alberta Bair Theater. They also enjoyed traveling and seeing the sights throughout the United States, as well as a memorable trip to Norway. In more recent years, Dave and Marilyn spent most winters traveling South, landing in many different places, but Panama City Beach, Florida held a special place in their hearts and they returned to the same condo and friends for many seasons.
Dave is survived by his wife Marilyn, their three children, Robin Peterson Smith (Tom) of Billings, Kimberly Rae Rolandson (Greg) of Billings and Dean David Peterson (Kathy) of Burlingame, California. He is also survived by three granddaughters, Elise (John), Allie and Evan (AJ), together with three great-grandsons, Ethan, Liam and Gavin, and a great-granddaughter, Emma. Dave instilled in his children a strong work ethic, strong independent spirit, and the need to care for others through voluntary service. Additionally, Dave’s dry sense of humor continues to live in each of his children.
Our dad’s wishes for a Masonic graveside service will be observed in the future when we all can gather to remember this remarkable, quiet and reserved man. Dave was an avid animal lover, and therefore he requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Help for Homeless Pets (http://www.helpforhomelesspets.org) www.smithfuneralchapels.com.