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Tribute To Grandpa

June 15, 2012 - Theresa Proudfit
Robert A. Peterson 3-6-28 to 6-3-2012 Rest in Peace Grandpa

Robert A. Peterson, Bobby, Boops, Bob, Dad, Grandpa Bob and Big Buck were all names my grandpa answered to. He was an Italian Swede born on the North Side of Iron Mountain during the depression. We ALL know this because he told us ALL the time. "I was born during the depression you know." , “When I was young we ate soup almost everyday.", "I ate carrots right from the from the garden and wiped the dirt on my pants", “I bought my first bicycle myself when I was 16 years old. I had to ride it home for 4 miles and It didn't have a seat. "

When Bobby was little he enjoyed picking berries with his grandparents. Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. The Blueberry's were his favorite. He liked to swim, play football and baseball, build camps in the woods, and kick the can was his favorite game. "We played in the neighborhood on the north side at night. Me, Spigarelli, Tavonatti and Lupini." he said.

Grandpa's favorite foods were pasties, spaghetti and meatballs and Polenta and sausage.

Bobby had many pets growing up. He had 10 or 15 rabbits and a dog named Lamby Chops, but his favorite pet was Charlie, a black crow he fed by hand. Grandpa trained Charlie to sit on his shoulder. They were good friends.

Boops favorite childhood memory was swimming at Bass lake with Codrani, Spigarelli, Lupini, and Tavonatti. He said he didn't get in much trouble with his parents. "My father worked out of town and I never argued with my mother. If I did she would hit me over the head with a polenta stick."  

As a teenager Bob liked to hang out at the pool halls. His best friend was Abraham Spigarelli. They would pick up dates at Kreski's and go cruising. "We would drive around in my 1936 ford and go to the Bonton and get ice cream floats. Sometimes we would go swimming." he said

Robert worked hard all his life. At age 15 he started his first job at The City Bakery scraping pans for a dollar a day . Later he delivered bread, became a baker and eventually was part owner of the store.

Grandpa met the love of his life when he was still a teenager. " I met Barbara at the Bakery." he said. I was very attracted to her right away. I liked that she didn't drink or smoke. We dated for awhile. I fell in love with her when I was about 19 years old." Bob and Barb married in 1949 at Immaculate Conception Church in Iron Mountain.

They had 3 boys. Bobby, Tommy and Jimmy. By his own admissions Bob wasn't home much when they were growing up. "I was hunting or fishing or bowling or playing cards or sitting on the bar stool. Barbara raised the boys." This was one of his biggest regrets as an old man. "If I could do it over I would of stayed home more." he said. As a Grandpa and great grandpa he made up for that lost time. In his later years Bob became a a family man and a man of faith. He went to church every week and liked to get there early. He was a sharp dressed man with his thick hair always slicked back and looking nice. He took care of himself and everyone he loved. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for his family.

Big Buck loved going to the cottage on Lake Ellen in the summer with his sons and his grandsons, playing smear, fishing, going to the casino with grandma, going to Coombers camp, the fourth of July picnics with the family and he loved arguing with just about anyone.

Grandpa had a lot of one liners, If you knew him you've heard these. "Don't get mad, get even!", "If you want to argue, look in the mirror", and "Eyes open mouth shut".

Big Buck loved caramels. He received caramels as gifts for all occasions. He would try to hide them from grandma but she always found his stash in his top dresser drawer.

Grandpa said he's seen many traits passed down through out his family. He says everyone had short tempers, they're stubborn, they're hard workers, they're good cooks and bakers, and everyone was short.

When Grandpa started slowing down in life he blamed it on a disease he referred to as Lazitis. “When you get the Lazitis all you want to do is sit in the chair and do nothing all day.” In this period of his life he enjoyed the simpler things. He liked to eat Jimmy Dean sandwiches in the morning, watch the birds in the afternoon and read the paper at night. He always wanted to be home in time to watch O'Reilly. He loved television. "What would an old man do without television? he said. He watched Matlock, Andy Griffith and the Cowboy channel.

But what Bob loved most was his family. He was proud of everyone and all of their accomplishments. He loved to get together for holidays, birthdays and graduation parties and he always found someone to play cards or argue with.

He had many grand children and great-grand children. Clint and Jodie , Theresa and John , Becky and Doug, Sara Jean, Matthew and Julie, Trevor and Jenn, Aaron, Savahnna, Victoria, Brianna, Cassidy, Joaquin, Andrew, Kailyn, Karen, Brandon, Hannah and Jocelyn. He loved everyone the same. "I show no partiality." he said. “I'm lucky to have such a great family.“

The Truth is we were the lucky ones. We love you Grandpa with all our hearts.


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