Luther Peterson

Obituary of Luther Peterson

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Luther Peterson, a long-time Oswego resident, died Jan. 29, 2014, at age 74. He was born July 14, 1939, to Hamlet E. and Thelma Peterson in Decorah, Iowa. He was a 1961 graduate of Luther College and held master's and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin. He also studied at Yale University, the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Peterson served as professor of history at SUNY Oswego for 40 years, beginning in 1970. Earlier in his career he taught at Schiller College in Germany. He was a Reformation scholar and the author of numerous articles and reviews published in professional journals. He was a frequent speaker, presenter and commentator at scholarly and professional conferences. In addition to his scholarly research, he was a committed teacher. Generations of students at SUNY Oswego benefited from his broad knowledge of Greek and Roman civilization, Medieval and Renaissance Europe and Biblical history. A member of the history department faculty, he also taught in the college's honors program. He was a member of several professional organizations, including the American Historical Association and the Society for Reformation Research. He served on numerous faculty committees and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Peterson was the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a Rockefeller Brothers Theological Fellowship, UAC Faculty Research Fellowship, a Vollstipendium from the Government of Lower Saxony at Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbuttel, Germany, the Distinguished Service Award from Luther College and SUNY Faculty Grants. His community activities included service as a founding and church council member at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Fulton, NY. He was a delegate to the 1999 ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Church-wide Assembly in Denver, Colo., and served as a member of the Higher Education Committee of the Upstate New York Synod of the ELCA. Luther enjoyed the company of numerous friends, playing golf, traveling world wide, and was a committed bicyclist, both long-distance and around town. He is survived by a son, Lars-Anders of Aurora; a sister, Helen Hustad (Jack) of Mukilteo, Wash.; a brother, Hamlet A. (Suzanne), of Rochester, Minn.; and six nephews and nieces. Memorial contributions could be directed towards the SUNY Oswego history or honors departments. A memorial service will be held at 1: 30 p.m. March 1 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 64 Gillespie Road, Fulton.
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