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Vernett R. Peterson, 81, of Eau Claire, WI, passed away on October 12th, 2022 surrounded by his family. Vernett was born on September 8th, 1941 to Vernett and Gladys Peterson.
After Vernett graduated from Memorial High School in 1959, he joined the US Naval Reserve while studying economics at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Upon completion of UWEC, he attended the United States Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL and was commissioned as an Ensign on May 28, 1964. There, he earned his Naval Aviator “Wings of Gold”. He deployed to the Vietnam War onboard the USS SHANGRI-LA (CVA-38). After service on the SHANGRI-LA, he reported for recruiting duty at Naval Recruiting District Minneapolis. He remained in the Naval Reserve for over twenty years and retired as a Navy Commander. In 1969, he joined the Eau Claire Police Department. He served the City of Eau Claire as a patrolman and rose through the ranks and retired as a Patrol Lieutenant. He loved working with the officers in the Patrol Division and helping to keep the community safe for over 26 years.
He met his wife, Kathleen (Kathy) Boehlke, in October of 1963 and they were married on November 26, 1964. They remained happily married for over 57 years.
In 1995, Vernett retired from the ECPD and spent time with his family and grandkids, traveling across the country and pursuing his love of old Jeeps. He was a faithful member of Chapel Heights United Methodist Church.
Vernett was preceded in death by his parents and sister Avyril Osterhus.
He is survived by his wife Kathy; sons Captain Eric (Sue) Peterson, US Navy (retired) of Williamsburg, VA, and Marc (Becky) of Belleville, WI; daughter Katie Williams (Paul) of Eau Claire, WI; grandchildren: Jaden Williams, Ensign Gregory Peterson, Kara Peterson, Gabriel Williams and Lucas Peterson.
According to his wishes there will be no services held and he will be buried at sea by his grandson, Ensign Gregory Peterson.
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Vernett here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.