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home : obituaries : obituaries July 26, 2017

7/5/2017 10:13:00 AM
Thomas J. Peterson

Thomas J. Peterson, 67, of Fort Collins, Colo., formerly of Windom, died June 22, 2017, in Fort Collins, after a two-year battle with brain cancer.
A memorial service will be held July 21 at 11 a.m., at First United Methodist Church of Fort Collins.
Thomas John Peterson was born Oct. 12, 1949, to Raymond and Ruth Jayne (Silliman) Peterson in Windom. Having an Air Force captain father and a kindergarten teacher mother, Tom and his sister, Mary, were raised throughout the United States, most notably in Hawaii, Minnesota and upstate New York.
Tom attended SUNY Albany, graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in African American studies. He later earned a master's degree in urban planning at Rutgers University.
In 1982, after working as a city planner for several years in New Jersey, Tom moved to Alaska to become the planning director for the capital city of Juneau.
In 1986, he became the planning director for the City of Fort Collins, Colo.
Later that same year, Tom married Laura Davis in Park Rapids, Minn. They met while he was living in Juneau.
Tom enjoyed his work as an urban planner and his professional association, the American Planning Association, for which he served as president of state chapters in New Jersey, Alaska and Colorado.
As planning director in Fort Collins, Tom helped guide the development of Fort Collins. He pushed for the city to allow outdoor dining on sidewalks without cost to restaurant and to allow free two-hour parking downtown to promote access to shopping and dining. He also pushed for expansion of the rails to trails bicycle network.
In 1994, he joined a small commercial real estate firm and spent the remainder of his career as a commercial real estate broker, water broker and land use consultant, with expertise in oil and gas issues. He also managed family farms in the Windom area.
In addition to his work, Tom was a member of the Rotary Club in Fort Collins, serving on its program committee and charitable activities. He also volunteered annually with the Boy Scouts to help educate Scouts about civics. Tom was chairman of the Poudre River Library Trust and a member of the Larimer County Board of Adjustment.
Outside his professional life, Tom was an avid reader, especially military history and science fiction. He also enjoyed traveling, making puns, collecting stamps and telling jokes.
He will be remembered for his storytelling ability, dry wit and humor.
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Laura Davis; his children: Erik, Scott and Abigail Peterson; sister, Mary Peterson (Tom) Moore; and former exchange student "Belgian daughter," Valerie Muspratt (Jeremy) Gross, and their two daughters.

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