Charles “Chuck” Nels Peterson was born Aug. 31, 1946, in Eads, Colo., to Verna Carol (Briley) Immer and Evertt Immer. (Everett raised Chuck, as he did not have a relationship with his biological father.) Chuck passed away on June 11, 2021, at OHSU from health complications related to his service as a Marine. At the age of 17, Chuck enlisted with the United States Marine Corp, where he served four years active duty, two of those years in Vietnam, and then spent another two years as a reserve. Chuck obtained rank of Corporal and was an expert rifleman and a machine gunner. Chuck was very proud of his service to the United States of America, as he should be.
After his discharge from the military, Chuck met the love of his life, Vicki Shertzer. Chuck and Vicki married July 29, 1967, and enjoyed 54 years of marriage. Chuck and Vicki lived in Seal Beach, Calif., until they moved to Hood River, Ore., in 1980. Chuck and Vicki moved back to California, then to Beaverton, Ore., for a short while before finding themselves back in the Hood River Valley. Family was very important to Chuck. Being closer to his kids, grandkids and siblings was the driving force in Chuck and Vicki returning “home” to the Hood River Valley, where Chuck resided until his death.
Chuck began a lifelong career in the concrete industry after his service time. Chuck worked in the trade in Southern California until he and his family moved to Hood River, where he started his company, “Chuck Peterson Concrete.” Chuck’s sons both worked for the company, learning from their dad. Chuck passed on his work ethics and his concrete expertise to the boys, who both went on to become contractors. Chuck worked with Jason until two months prior to his passing. On “pour days,” you would find Chuck running the chute and yelling at the “kids.” Chuck loved to pass along his knowledge to anybody that wanted to learn.
Chuck never met a child that he did not like. He had a way with kids that was remarkable. Chuck loved children. You could find him entertaining all the kids at any function. Chuck was known for shenanigans, such as the train robberies with the Mount Hood Railroad, wearing tinfoil hat and cape while running down the road during hunting season, or just making noises and faces to get kids to laugh. Chuck made phenomenal spaghetti! He would cook it by the gallons for the wrestling team fundraiser, selling any extra in take-home containers. If you never tried his spaghetti, you missed something amazing. Good thing he passed his recipe on to his son Jason! Very seldom did you ever see Chuck without his trusty sidekicks of Opie and Ebert. His two dogs went everywhere with him.
When Chuck was not working, you could usually find him in the mountains hunting, camping or mining for gold or along the river fishing. While living in California, Chuck and Vicki spent most weekends on the dunes, dune duggying. Chuck and his sons went on several hunts in British Columbia, Canada, and in true “Chuckers” fashion, made lifelong friends with the guides. Those were very treasured memories and friendships for Chuck.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents Verna and Evertt Immer, and his brother “Mick” Peterson. Chuck is survived by his wife Vicki (Shertzer) Peterson; sons; Chuck Jr. (Trisha) Peterson and Jason (Tiffany) Peterson; grandchildren Billie (Robert) Frasier, Chas Peterson, Nikole (Hans) Peterson, Brie Peterson, and Juan Hernandez-Peterson; and great-granddaughter Kella “Dink” Frasier. Chuck is also survived by his sister Beverly Immer and brother Vince Immer, and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members. Chuck had many “family” members that were not blood relatives but that never mattered to Chuck. If you were a friend, you were family!
A service to celebrate Chuck’s life and mourn his passing is planned for 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 at the Hood River County Fairgrounds, 3020 Wy’east Road, Hood River. A potluck reception will immediately follow.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hood River Elks or American Legion, c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.