James Howard Peterson, age 75, of Munising, died at his home on Tuesday morning, June 13, 2023 under the loving care of North Woods Hospice and his daughter. Jim was born on December 27, 1947 in Adrian, Michigan to the late Howard and Kathleen “Kass” (Tallman) Peterson. The family moved back to Munising when he was young, and Jim spent his childhood with the “Tannery Tigers” growing up and playing in the Tannery area while his parents owned Peterson’s Cabins. He graduated from Sacred Heart School and then Wm. G. Mather High School in 1965. Jim moved to Pontiac and worked for Ford Motor Company, then California for a couple of years before joining the U.S. Navy in 1968. He married Ann Karr in December of 1969, and they were stationed in Key West, FL, Norfolk, VA where their daughter Nicole was born, and Philadelphia, PA where their son Derek was born. Jim served his country during the Vietnam War aboard the SS Robert L. Wilson for six years and was discharged as a Sonar Technician 2nd Class. The family returned to Munising, and Jim went to work for the City of Munising as the Pump Master at the Pumping Station as well as painting with his father the family business. In 1978, he continued his employment with the City moving to a Lab Tech position at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. After raising his children as a single father, Jim retired in 2001.
Jim was a member of Sacred Heart Church. While in high school, he was a member of the ski jumping club and later developed a love for cross country skiing. Jim enjoyed being in nature and spent his free time hiking, backpacking, camping, golfing, kayaking, and traveling. He was a Master Gardener and after retirement spent many years volunteering to beautify the town with flowers and maintain the lawns at the city park. His gardens and lawn at his home became his daily “job” and one of his biggest pride and joys. In 2015, he attended an event at Bark River Knives in Gladstone and found not only a passion for making and collecting custom knives that would stay with him the rest of his life, but a community that became a beloved second family.
Jim lived such a big life that it is hard to quantify it with words. He was a social butterfly from his years on the dart league to enjoying various music festivals to giving endless tours of this area he loved so well, he always had a story to tell or a smile to share. His friends and family all agree that he was the life of the party and no one ever suffered a dull moment in his presence. He will be missed by those who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his daughter – Nicole Flores of Munising; his son – Derek (Sarah) Peterson of Munising; grandchildren – Bryce (Tyler) Krajewski of Munising, Bret (Lauren) Peterson of Sneads Ferry, NC, and Eva Flores of Marquette; great-grandchildren – Charli Ann and Colt Ryan; siblings – Barb (Ted) Fulcher, Greg (Sharon) Peterson, and Kelly Peterson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Kass Peterson, his sister and brother-in-law Kay and Richard St. Amour, and dear friend and cousin Roger Lee Tallman.
A visitation will be held at the Bowerman Funeral Home on Sunday evening from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. Jim’s Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, June 19, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Munising with Father Michael Ocran officiating. Interment will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising where the American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guard will conduct military honors.