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Ernest Victor Peterson, of Chicago, died peacefully with family at his side at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, not far from his longtime home on the edge of Lincoln Park, on December 8, 2021, at the age of 86. He was born on Chicago’s South Side on April 10, 1935, the only son of Ernest Victor Peterson, Sr., and Ruth Irvine Peterson. A graduate of Chicago’s Calumet High School, he attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he received his B.S. in Accounting, and later earned an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago. In 1956, he married Elaine Nord, also of Chicago, and the couple had three children, Janet Peterson of Chicago, Mark Peterson of New Haven, CT, and Laurie Johnson of Eden Prairie, MN. He married Sharon Smith in 1988. He is survived by his widow, Sharon Peterson, his three children and their partners, Mary Berta, Mary Woolsey, and Jonathan Johnson. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren: Rowan Peterson, Thomas Peterson, Benjamin (Anissa) Johnson, Matthew Johnson, Katharine Johnson, Elise (Renato) Barraza, Christopher Johnson, Amanda Johnson, and Sophia Johnson and his first wife, Elaine Beckstrom.
Ernie, as he was known to family and friends, had a distinguished business career as a Certified Public Accountant, working as an auditor for Price Waterhouse, and then as an executive administrator in banking and higher education. He served as Comptroller and then Senior Vice President for Operations at Lake Shore National Bank in Chicago, and later as President of North Shore National Bank, also in Chicago, and of National City Bank in Minneapolis, MN. He returned to Chicago as Chief Financial Officer of the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine until 1999.
A devoted member of Olympia Fields Country Club for nearly half a century, Ernie loved to play golf, avidly if not expertly. A good athlete in his youth and a sports enthusiast, he remained a loyal fan of the Cubs, Bears, and Bulls through thick and thin (mostly thin). He traveled widely throughout the United States, favoring automobile trips to national parks, where he wielded his camera to capture scenery and sunsets. In later years, he indulged his love of reading, surrounded by stacks of his favorite novels, detective fiction, histories, and biographies. And although not musical himself, enjoyed a variety of music genres, and in his last year of life he became an enthusiast for the music of Bruce Springsteen.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to Northwestern Memorial Foundation.
Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois.
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