Peterson, Herbert

February 18th, 2011

Retired Wilmington Police Sergeant Herbert W. “Herb” Peterson, age 80, a long-time resident of Wilmington, died suddenly on February 18, 2011.

Herb was born on November 2, 1930 in Somerville, MA, he was the cherished only son of the late Herbert W. and Catherine B. (O’Brien) Peterson. Herb grew up in Somerville and was a graduate of Somerville High School. He summered with his family at Silver Lake in Wilmington on Grove Avenue, where Herb met his childhood sweetheart Claire Marie Bemis, a Charlestown woman who moved to Wilmington as a young girl. Herb and Claire kept their long distance courting going for many years until Herb moved to Wilmington permanently in 1948 and their romance blossomed.

Herb enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict in August of 1953, and married the love of his life Claire on October 31, 1953. He fulfilled his Naval duties at the U. S. Naval Air Station in Hutchinson, Kansas. Herb was honorably discharged on August 3, 1955 and returned to his family in Wilmington.

When Herb was discharged from the Navy, he took a job as a glazier at Brockway Smith Company in Somerville for several years to support his family .

Herb was appointed as a Patrolman for the Wilmington Police Department in 1960. He worked hard and made Sergeant in 1969, a position where his attention to detail was evident. Herb retired as the Prosecutor at Woburn District Court in 1989 after 29 years of dedicated service to the town.

Herb was also very involved in the community, as an active member of the Wilmington Rotary Club. He attended weekly meetings, always greeting the other members with a joke or a smile, eager to hear what was going on in Wilmington and how he could help. Herb volunteered at countless fund raising events, and would often be seen behind the grill at the Annual Fourth of July festivities cooking for the Rotary Barbecue.

Herb was also a member of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Mass. Police Association, and the Boston Police Emerald Society for many years.

Herb was a man of devout Catholic faith, a communicant for many years at St. Dorothy’s Church where he had married. He recently attended St. Thomas Church with various family members. He was also a member of the Fr. Croke Council Knights of Columbus in Wilmington.

Family was most important to Herb, and his life revolved around their activities. He was extremely proud of all their accomplishments.

Herb and Claire shared over 43 years of marriage, raised six beautiful children, and made many wonderful memories to last for generations to come before Claire’s passing in September of 1997.

Herb was a devoted husband and father, and always wanted the best for his family.

He was happiest in the company of his large family, whether attending a school or sporting event, traveling to Disney or their trips to the Irish Village on Cape Cod. “Papa” loved family parties, or to share a dinner or cup of coffee as a way of keeping in touch.

Herb was also very proud of his Irish heritage, he traveled to Ireland many times, researched his family roots, and received his Irish citizenship.

Herb will be fondly remembered as a devoted family man, a dedicated Police Officer, a connoisseur of a good cigar and glass of red wine, and a great friend to many. He will be sorely missed.

Herb was the beloved husband of 43 years to the late Claire M. (Bemis) Peterson, devoted father of Stephen P. Peterson, Robert G. Peterson & his wife Carla, James M. Peterson & his wife Kimberly, Nancy E. Devlin & her husband Thomas, Cynthia A. Kilday & her husband Kevin all of Wilmington and Michael T. Peterson & his wife Susan of Westford, loving grandfather of Stephen J. Peterson, Robert G., Jr., Catherine T., Mary E., and David J. Peterson, Margaret C. and Conor J. Peterson, Matthew W., Rachel C., Paul T., and Hannah E. Devlin, Julianne M. and Jennifer L. Peterson, Kathleen E., Connor P., and John K. Kilday, brother of Audrey C. Brennan of Wilmington, dear friend and companion of Maura McColgan of Northern Ireland and her children Gillian Muriph and Carl McColgan, brother-in-law of Mary L. Pitman, Elaine & John Curran, Daniel & Beverly Bemis, and Nancy Bemis, Herb is also survived by nieces, nephews, fellow officers, and dear friends.

Family and friends will gather in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington for visiting hours on Tuesday, February 22nd from 3-8 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held in St. Thomas of Villanova Church on Wednesday morning, February 23rd at 10:00 a.m. Interment to follow in the family lot at Wildwood Cemetery in Wilmington.

Memorial donations in Herb’s name may be made to the Claire M. Peterson Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Wilmington Rotary Club, P. O. Box 503, Wilmington, MA 01887.


39 Entries in Guest Book for “Peterson, Herbert”

  1. Sheila Bemis says:

    I will miss you uncle Herb…. You were a terrific uncle who I will never forget, Thanks for all the great memories… You will be missed

    Love Ya Sheila

  2. Michele Burke says:

    Herb was like a father to me growing up and I will never forget those times I shared with him, he made me feel like I was always part of his family. The world has lost a wonderful man, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Peterson family. Memories of Herb will be with us forever! Rest in Peace Herb

  3. Bill Duffey says:

    Rest Well, Brother.

  4. Mary Regan says:

    Not a good day, first I’m told my Aunt Alice passed away then a longtime friend, Herb, has also passed. I will miss The Wolftone Concerts with you and your family and will always remember the fun we had at the ” Pool Parties”. My condolences to the whole family.

  5. Judson Miller says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Peterson family at this time.

    R.I.P. Herb

  6. emma muriph says:

    herb was so kind and caring,fun to be with he will be so missed,rest in peace dear friend.

  7. Nancy Bemis says:

    Herb you were a great brother-law who I will truly miss.. I will always cherish the times we spent together. Your kids and grandkids are somthing to be proud of, they were lucky to have you as a dad and grandfather..

    I will always hold you close to my heart
    Love your sister in-law
    Nancy Bemis

  8. Barry and Pam Solomon says:

    We will miss you joining us for dinner and baseball at our house. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Peterson family.

  9. anita (rosa) gleason says:

    Steve, our hearts are with you. Your family has been a wonderful asset to the town, for a long time. Your Dad certainly made an impact that won’t easily be forgotten and he has left a wonderful family to carry on. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  10. Suzi Cushing says:

    “Any man can be a father. It takes a special man to be a Dad”
    This quote seemed so right to describe Herb. My thoughts and love are with you all. Sleep in peace Herb…..

  11. Sarah says:

    As I friend of the Devlins’ I know Mr. Peterson will be missed. He was very close to them and everytime I saw them I heard of him. He was truly loved by his grandaughter Rachel, she talked of him often and I am sure will miss him even more. My Prayers go out to you all!

  12. Madonna Toto says:

    Dear Peterson Family
    So sorry for your loss. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but my husband said he was a kind man. He must have been because he and his wife raised wonderful children and their legacy will live on forever. My thoughts are with the family at this very sad time.

  13. Gloria Szabo says:

    My sympathy to the family. Herb was a very nice man. He will be missed by all who knew him. I am sorry to hear of his passing.

  14. Carl, Laura, Connor & Hannah McColgan says:

    Herb, you were a true gentleman. It was a great privledge for us to have met you and enjoyed your company. You will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved you. Rest in peace.

  15. Maura McColgan says:

    Fond memories of a wonderful friend and companion. Herb, you will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the Peterson family at this time. Rest in peace.

  16. The Nelson Family says:

    Truly a wise man, with a gift to place a smile on everyone he met. May warm memories soon bring you solace – Herb will be missed by many. George, Mary, Mark & Kristen

  17. Debbie O'Brien says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all, during this very sad time.
    Herb was a true gentlemen and a great friend.

  18. AL Sciuto says:

    You were a class act and you will be missed.

  19. Gillian and Seth Muriph says:

    Such wonderful memories we have of our times with Herb here is Wilmington and his many visits to Ireland. A wonderful man and a true gentleman. You will be badly missed. Rest in peace.

  20. Susan (Barry) Hewitt says:

    To the Peterson family ,
    We are very sorry for your loss. Herb was a good man dedicated to his family and also to the town. May he rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family.
    Dennis and Susan Hewitt

  21. Fran and Charlene Berube says:

    To Mike and family: What a wonderful example of devotion to family, church, country and community! Your dad was truly someone who will be greqtly missed. Our deepest heartfelt sympathies to the whole Peterson family.

  22. Ginny Johnson says:

    I am sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. He was a wonderful man and did so much for our community. Please accept my condolences.
    Ginny Johnson

  23. George and Alice Hooper says:

    We are so very sorry to hear of your loss.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
    Herb rest in peace.
    George and Alice

  24. esposito family says:

    your family is in our thoughts and prayers. we arw sorry to hear about the loss of Herbie.

  25. Dawn Kindred says:

    Herb was a wonderful man. I really enjoyed talking to him when I lived in the buidling he currently resides in. I would bring his morning paper up to him everyday once it was delivered to the main enterance. He always let me know when he was going away and when to expect him back and took a geniune interst in me and my childresn’s well being.

    Prayers for healing go out this Maura and Herb’s entire family. I hope that all of your wonderful memories will guide through this difficult time.

    Rest in peace Mr. Peterson… you will be missed.

  26. Gerry & Annette McCreesh says:

    We have been greatly saddened by the sudden death of Herb. He was a kind and true gentelman and we always looked forward to his visits when he enjoyed a glass of the “Black Stuff” and a “Wee Chaser”, We will miss his visits to Ireland. Our deepest sympathy to the Peterson family, our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. May he Rest in Peace.
    Gerry & Annette McCreesh, Ireland

  27. Bev and Dinny says:

    We will never forget all the times we had together. Every time we have our haddock dinner which you loved we will think of you. There are too many memories and we will always love you You will always be in our heart. Love

  28. Mike and Sheila Carter says:

    There are no words for the sadness we feel hearing of Herb’s passing. Thank you for the wonderful memories our friend. Our deepest sympathies to the entire Peterson family at this very difficult time. May we all aspire to be a fraction of the person Herb Peterson was. We will miss you and always love you Herb.

  29. Kim (Wandell) McDonough says:

    Steve, Bobby, Jimmy, Nancy, Mike, and Cindy, I am sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. He was such a good man, who was always smiling. I will always remember the Saturday night gang (your Mom and Dad, the Lawrensons, and my parents). May he rest in peace, you are all in my thoughts and prayers, Kim (Wandell) McDonough

  30. Anne Coates says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. My Prayers are with you.

  31. Bev O'Connell-Rooney says:

    To the entire Peterson family, Very sorry to hear of the unexpected passing of your Dad. He was a wonderful man. He always called to check in on Jim and made it here on Jim’s last night to see him. I know you are such a close family, so you will have each other for support through this difficult time, which means so much. You are in my thoughts.

  32. Betsy (Palmer) Feeley says:

    To all the Petersons,

    What a wonderful tribute last night was to your Dad. I have so many wonderful memories from my teenage years at your parents home. They were truly incredible people. When I lost my brother Rob I recieved many cards but there was one that I have re-read many times a very wise person (Cindy you know who) wrote that it is not what is taken from you but it is what is left behind..memories and love. I know that your Dad left you all with wonderful memories and lots of love.
    I will keep all of you in my prayers and thoughts. Betsy

  33. Brendan & Ailish Shiels says:

    From looking forward to seeing Herb again this spring on one of his regular visits to Ireland to mourning the sudden passing of this gentle man is difficult to take in.
    We feel priveliged to have known him and enjoyed his easy company.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peterson family at this sad time.
    May he rest in peace.
    Brendan & Ailish Shiels, Ireland

  34. Mike Champoux says:

    To the entire Peterson Family, On behalf of the Officers and entire membership of the Fr. Croke Council of the Knights of Columbus, I offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences. We remember Mr. Peterson and all of you in our prayers at this difficult time.
    Michael Champoux
    Grand Knight ‘10-’11

  35. Mark Dionne says:

    Hi Mike, i just heard today. Sorry for your loss.

  36. Debora BAldwin says:

    My condolances to the whole Peterson family. Herb will be very much missed. I learned from him to love and accept and enfold ever single person on this earth to his family. I never felt out of place at your family functions.
    My deepest love.

  37. Siobhan O'Flaherty says:

    Cindy and family,
    I was so sad to hear of your dad’s sudden passing. I am happy that I saw him twice last week and got to say hello. I will miss seeing him in church on Saturdays. I always loved running into him and talking to him about his latest trips to Ireland. He was a wonderful man who will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Our prayers are with your entire family at this very sad time. Rest in peace Mr. Peterson.
    Kieran, Siobhan, Cailin & Brendan O’Flaherty

  38. Peter & Iris Mc Creesh Belfast says:

    Sadly we say Goodbye to Herb, a warm and true gentle man whose passing leaves a huge gap in our circle of friends.
    Fond memories will remain with us of happy moments spent in Herb’s company.
    We offer our sincere sympathy and prayers to the Peterson family
    May you Rest in Peace, Herb.

  39. Sally Meehan says:

    lots of good memeories with the families. you will be missed. Enjoyed great times at the Cape, hampton Beach, and Our trip to ireland.

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