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Delbert C. Peterson

Obituary for Delbert C. Peterson

June 10, 1926 - April 23, 2020
Vero Beach, Florida | Age 93


Renowned Artist, loving Father & Husband, and World War II Veteran died peacefully on April 23, 2020.
Delbert Peterson, age 93, has passed from this life to the loving arms of our Savior.

Delbert and family attended Bethany Lutheran Church in Batavia, Illinois, serving as Treasurer for five years, and Our Savior Lutheran Church in Vero Beach, Florida.

Delbert was born June 10th, 1926 in Aurora, Illinois to Clarence and Olive Peterson. He graduated East Aurora High School in 1944. He and his Wife Jeanne were residents of Batavia, Illinois for more than 46 years before retiring to Vero Beach, Florida. Delbert and Jeanne have been married over 70 years, and raised seven successful children. All children are living and are; Janis Rogers of Batavia, Illinois (Husband Ron), JoAnn Metz of Englewood, Florida (Husband Scott), David Peterson of Vero Beach, Florida (Wife Diana), Carol Waldron of Oak Point, Texas (Husband Jesse), Mark Peterson of Compton, Illinois (Wife Kathy), Gwen Turner of Vero Beach, Florida (Husband Toby), and Elizabeth Franklin of Big Rock, Illinois (Husband Glenn). He leaves behind sixteen Grandchildren and seventeen Great Grandchildren, as well as many friends and acquaintances.

Delbert was a renowned fine artist. His earliest memories of creating art go back to when he was only three years old. His Mother marked off a section of their wall so he could draw with crayons. She then put him to work painting the neighborhood sidewalk a rich shade of brown but it was only water.
Delbert, or Del as he was called, received praise for his artistic ability all through his school years. Del loved High School as he could take art classes every day. During his Senior year he deeply knew that art would be his career. Before graduation, he spent his Summers at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He continued there in afternoons of his Senior year and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in the evenings. At the age of sixteen, Del enlisted in the Army Air Corps.

Upon graduation in 1944, on "D-Day", he received a scholarship to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, one of the most prestigious commercial art schools in the Country at the time. He studied there for three months before he began his Military Service. World War II was underway and Del wanted to learn to fly. During his Military Service he took business and accounting courses to prepare him for business. After the War, he served in the reserves for 5 years. He found it quite difficult to return to art school due to the large number of GI's returning. So, he attended the University of Illinois in Elmhurst. He was still always drawn back to the arts.

After working as an artist at Geneva Kitchens and Elgin Watch for nine years, in 1955, he opened his own commercial art business. Fine art came into play again in 1974 when he began receiving instruction from Ruth Van Sickle Ford. He was invited in 2002 to show his fine art in juried shows across the Country. Del finally began earning the recognition and the cherished blue ribbons he had patiently waited for. He began teaching at the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Vero Beach in 1995.

His artwork can be found in many major National Corporations, and can be found in private collections across the United States and Europe.
Del has won dozens of blue ribbons and best of show honors. Some of the most prestigious shows include the Illinois Art Council, Chicago, the Oakbrook Associates and West Suburban fine Arts Alliance, Watercolor USA, Springfield, Missouri, Rocky Mountain Fine Arts Alliance, Water-media Exhibition, Golden Colorado, Norris Cultural Center, St. Charles, Illinois, Art in Public Places, Vero Beach and Indian River, Florida, Backus Gallery, four County Juried Show, Fort Pierce, Florida, and the Florida Watercolor Society 40th Annual Exhibition, Bradenton, Florida.

In 2010, as members of the Vero Beach Art Club, Delbert and Jeanne Peterson were presented the Artist Award at the Annual Laurel Awards bestowed by the Cultural Council of Indian River County in Vero Beach Florida. The Petersons were honored for "their tireless efforts on behalf of supporting the work of the Organization". Together they handled the publicity and marketing for numerous events, including Art by the Sea, Art in the Park, and Under the Oaks for 16 years which attracted talented artists from all over the United States.

In 2012 Del was inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame. In essence, Del has focused on art for 85 of his 93 years. His watercolors have been described as "a pleasure to view, with strong rich colors and fine handling of light. His paintings are intriguing depicting water wonderfully. It is obvious he has a strong background and his paintings reflect it".

Delbert enjoyed flying his Beechcraft Bonanza. He was a World traveler, always looking for new places to paint. Their travels took them to the Orient, China, Thailand, Australia, and Europe. Del enjoyed raising and flying racing pigeons with his son. He belonged to the American Racing Pigeon Union, the Fox River and North Valley Combine, the Aurora/Batavia, St. Charles, and Elgin Racing Pigeon Clubs.

His affiliations include the Florida Watercolor society, Vero Beach Art Club, Indian River Photo Club, Center for the Arts, Artists' Guild Gallery, Aurora Art League, Naperville Art League, Batavia Rotary Club, and the Wayne Art League.

When asked to describe his life in art, Del simply replied, "It's been a great adventure. Very few artists are lucky enough to have an intuitive parent, admiring teachers, plus a supportive family that helped to nurture his innate talent, and thus promote their career throughout their life".

Delbert thanks his parents and all those he was "privileged in life" to be associated with. Del has said "It would be a miracle if God would let them know I think of them and thank them for how they have contributed to my life".

Delbert will always be in our hearts as the kind, gentle, loving Father, man and exceptional artist that we were fortunate to have in our lives. He had not a bad word toward any one, always saw the positive side and goodness in a person. He truly was a gentle soul, and we will miss him dearly.

A private graveside service will take place at River Hills Memorial Park.

In remembrance of Delbert, contributions can be made to; The Vero Beach Art Club, 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, Fl, 32963.

Condolences can be addressed to Jeanne Peterson, C/O Lowther funeral Home, 1555 27th Street, Vero Beach, Fl 32960.

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