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Don Peterson
February 7, 1943-June 21, 2020
Don Peterson obit pic
Don was born February 7, 1943 in Sioux City, Iowa to the late Burdette and Florence Peterson.
   Don’s family moved to Minnesota where Don began his musical training in the Worthington Public Schools where he played in Band and Orchestra. Upon graduation, he attended Morningside College in Sioux City, receiving his Bachelor of Music degree.   Don was a four-year music educator in Fairmont, MN. When the warmth of California called, Don answered and received his Masters of Music from The University of the Pacific in Stockton. He then began his 30 year teaching career teaching Music in Tracy for various schools.
   Don’s passion for music did not stop in the classroom, he spent summers and weekends attending music workshops throughout the US and trips abroad. Shortly after China opened to the West, Don was among the first to make an official visit as a representative of the American String Teachers, organized by the American Ambassador Program. Don also taught the Kato Havas New Approach in workshops throughout the US and a series in Argentina. Don felt teaching and learning was a cultural give and take.  Locally, Don performed in the Merced, Stockton and Modesto Symphonies before and after retiring from the schools. Additionally, Don played in the Valley Arts String Quartet.  He enjoyed many casual weekends of musicians gathered to play music; he appreciated good food and great company.  He was a board member of Manteca Kindred Arts Association for over 25 years bringing many concerts to the community.
   He is preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Joan Nelson. He is survived by brother-in-law Thomas Nelson, Redlands, CA, nephew Craig Nelson (Sally), Chino Hills, CA, niece Vicki Nelson (Kathy), Santa Rosa, CA.
Don also leaves dear friends John and Judy Byers of Manteca, Gloria Saltzman, Tracy and the Randy and Celeste Harris family of Manteca which were Don’s neighbors and a second family, their bond was heartfelt.
   In his 50th high school reunion message, Don said, "life revolves around the music and the fellowship of musicians". Thousands of students and fellow musicians would agree.
Don will be remembered for his generosity to a number of charities, in lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to a cause near to your heart.
   P.L. Fry and Son is honored to be serving the Peterson family. On online tribute page is available for condolences to the family at

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Tuesday, July 21, 2020