Kenneth ‘Walton’ Peterson, 1939-2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Kenneth ‘Walton’ Peterson

Kenneth “Walton” Peterson, 81, went to be with the Lord on April 19, 2020, surrounded by family.

Walton was born on March 15, 1939, to Kenneth Peterson and Louise Peterson Johnson. He spent his early years on the Home Ranch in Jackson, Montana. In 1946, following the death of his father, he moved to Dillon with his mother and sister Beverly. Walton loved the Big Hole Valley and would spend summers there working on his relatives’ ranches. At the age of 8, he bought his first cows and continued to stay in the cattle business until his death, something he was very proud of.

Walton graduated from Beaverhead County High School in 1958. High school sweethearts, he married Phyllis Baril on Aug. 15, 1958 in Helena, Montana. They lived and worked on the Baril family ranch in Sheridan, Montana, before buying a in 1968. Walton and Phyllis had four children: Ben, Laura, Jay and Andy. Walton also worked for the East Bench Irrigation District, eventually retiring from it after many years.

Walton had an infectious laugh. He loved his wife, devoting much time to her care through the years. He loved his family and looked forward to big family gatherings. He always made time for his friends and neighbors, and never passed up a chance to stop in and see how someone was doing. Walton enjoyed the little things in life, like heading down to the local coffee shop, going to bull sales, and riding his horse in the mountains checking on his cattle. He loved agriculture and the outdoors, something he passed down to his family. He loved his ranch, and with the help of family and friends, he was able to ing light to his life even in the difficult years.

Walton is preceded in death by his wife Phyllis; parents Kenneth Peterson and Louise Peterson Johnson; stepfather Lester Johnson; mother and father-in-law Wilfred and Thelma Baril; brother-in-law Gary Dedman; daughter-in-law Patsy Peterson; nephews Billy Backus and Dan Dedman; and niece Donna Verhow.

Walton is survived his sister Beverly (Jim) Backus; his four children Ben (Bonnie) Peterson, Laura (Jim) Brunzell, Jay (Lea) Peterson, and Andy (Amber Mason) Peterson; his grandchildren Joshua Peterson, Jared Peterson, David Simonsen, Ryan Backus, Meaghan Peterson, Paul Peterson, Zachary Peterson, Jamie Wren, and Kelly Wait; six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private family graveside service will be held on Friday, April 24. Walton loved gatherings, so a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

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