David Peterson: 1941-2021


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David Humphrey Peterson, July 8, 1941, to March 19, 2021. - SUBMITTED
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  • David Humphrey Peterson, July 8, 1941, to March 19, 2021.

On Friday, March 19, 2021, David Humphrey Peterson, loving husband and father, passed away peacefully at the age of 79. 

David was born on July 8, 1941, in Ephraim, Utah, to Eric and Ellen Peterson.  David attended Snow College where he wrestled and played football. While at Snow College, David won two wrestling championships and in 2019 was recognized by his alumni as “Man of the Decade." In 1961 David was recruited by Utah State University to play football, where he played for one season. David married his sweetheart Francine Dezzie Tuft on November 5, 1966, and together they raised one son, Darron.

David and Francine relocated to Humboldt County in 1967 where David received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Humboldt State University. As an ambassador of education, David later earned his teaching certificate also from Humboldt State University and began teaching at Dow’s Prairie Elementary School in McKinleyville. During his time at Dow’s Prairie, David continued his educational ambition by earning his Masters of Arts in Education/Administration and his California Drivers Education teaching certificate. He later started teaching seventh and eighth-grade physical education, math, etc. at McKinleyville Junior High where he retired from the California Teaching System after 30 plus years of service. During his time as a teacher, David also demonstrated his patience and teaching ability as a certified driver training instructor. He patiently rode in the passenger seat continually instructing and educating students on proper driving skills. During a driving lesson with David, he always shared multiple stories to help relieve and distract both his and the student’s anxiety. Being conscious not to exhibit any fear, David concealed his own angst and trepidation while never revealing to his students that he constantly kept one foot on the “chicken break."         

Ironically, referring to chickens, David had a passion for raising chickens. He raised and cared for over 100 chickens multiple times at their home in Kneeland, California. He always had fresh eggs from his layer hens as well as some exotic and beautiful, rare rooster breeds. Over time, he acquired some of his exotic breeds through acquaintances and occasionally would commission Francine to return from New Orleans toting a chicken in hand on the plane. 

David was preceded in death by his brother(s) Donald and Douglas, as well as his parents Eric and Ellen.  He is survived by his son, Darron, his two children Alexandria and Lance, his brothers Richard and Darrell as well as nieces and nephews. A celebration of life for David and Francine will be held on July 17, 2021, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 1660 Heartwood Drive, McKinleyville at noon.


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