Joseph P. Peterson died peacefully at his home on Dec, 3, 2017. He was 94. Joe was born on July 26, 1923, in Highwood, Montana. He grew up in Montana. During World War II, Joe was a member of the Navy Seabees construction battalion and was stationed in Subic Bay and other areas of the Philippines. He learned construction skills in the Seabees and later learned much more about construction and finish work from his future father-in-law Earl Lane. Earl and his wife Frankie became like parents to Joe. The Lanes were the only parents who loved and cared for Joe as a young man and they did so until their deaths. He loved them dearly and would do anything to help them.
In 1946 Joe joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters in Montana. Joe was a union carpenter his whole life. One of his first union jobs as a young man was working on the initial stages of the Hungry Horse Dam. He worked on the dam until its completion in the early 1950s. On March 28, 1948, Joe married D. Marie Lane. Joe and Marie had three sons – Greg, Kirk and Rod. In 1953, with three small boys, a dog was needed. Joe and Marie purchased their first Norwegian Elkhound as a family pet. They enjoyed the breed so much that they decided to establish an Elkhound kennel. The kennel name of Windy Cove was chosen to use on all puppies born.
The Peterson family moved to Spokane, Washington, in 1954. Joe continued to work as a union carpenter, primarily building houses. From that year to 2017, Joe and Marie’s Windy Cove Kennel became one of the top Norwegian Elkhound breeding and exhibiting dog kennels in the nation. Joe and Marie made many lasting friendships through the Norwegian Elkhound community and with dog lovers of other breeds by attending dog shows across the country.
In 1965, the family moved to Atascadero. Joe worked on local union construction projects, including building at Vandenberg Air Force Base and Diablo Canyon. The Norwegian Elkhounds of Windy Cove became a way of life with breeding and exhibiting. Joe was always involved in all dog activities. Joe and Marie even traveled to Norway in 1978 to purchase two dogs to broaden the kennel’s champion bloodlines.
Joe retired from construction in 1990. He stayed busy with the dogs, projects around the house and helping friends and family with small construction jobs. Joe read the newspaper cover to cover every day. He enjoyed watching PBR bull riding and local news on TV.
Joe is survived by Marie, his wife of nearly 70 years; their sons Greg Peterson (Linda) and Kirk Peterson (Nora); his daughter-in-law Debi Peterson; seven grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Mike Peterson (Dec. 18, 2016), and his son, Rod Peterson (Sept. 16, 2017).
Joe will be remembered by his family, friends and coworkers as an extremely hardworking man who lived his life with integrity and honesty. His work ethic was legendary among other construction workers. Joe’s hard work and his love for his family is his legacy. He worked hard to make everyone else’s life easier. That’s how he showed his love and caring. He was an example to everyone who knew him.