Merle Enos Peterson

Merle Enos Peterson

Nov. 27, 1932 – Jan. 21, 2012

A funeral mass for Merle Enos Peterson of Greybull was held Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Merle, 79, died Jan. 22 at South Big Horn County Hospital.

He was born Nov. 27, 1932, in Lewistown, Mont., the son of Frank E. and Mary Angela Deen Peterson. He attended parochial school at St. Leo’s and Fergus County High School in Lewistown.

He married Kathy Jones Aug. 27, 1952. The couple had four daughters and a son.

He started his work career as a brakeman for the Milwaukee Railroad in Lewistown before starting his own company as a cement mason. He later moved to California where he worked as an artisan welder. One of his largest projects was designing and welding the wrought iron railings and décor in Old Town Sacramento, which is still there. He moved to Truckee, Calif., where he was a millwright and continued to design equipment.

He was an inventor and entrepreneur at a young age and during his lifetime invented many pieces of equipment and attachments. His largest invention was a log-splitter that split and then automatically loaded the logs onto a trailer. The model is now used nationally by timber companies.

After the death of his second wife, Maxine, in 2006 he moved to Greybull to live near his sisters, Viola and Evelyn. He continued to work designing a log splitter that attaches to a backhoe. At the time of his death he was working on an idea to bundle and consolidate oxygen and medical cords used in nursing homes.

His parents; three brothers, Verl, Frank and Ed Peterson, and four sisters, Grace Walling, Evelyn Jones, Marjorie Works and Anna Marie Murray, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his four daughters and their spouses, Connie Kemp, Sandi and Randy Viggue and Dorothy and Richard Baever, all  of Bonney Lake, Wash. and Vickie and Bob Pringle of Kent, Wash.; his son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Maricel Peterson of Kent; sister and brother-in-law, Viola and Frank Stulc of Basin; sister-in-law Lois Peterson of Chico, Calif.; 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Donations to the Merle Peterson Memorial Fund can be sent to Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426.