Henry Dan “Sonny” Peterson passed away on May 16, 2019 of natural causes. He was born in Seldovia, AK on April 24, 1937 to Martin and Alexandria “Lottie” Peterson. The youngest of 10 children, Sonny spent his early youth living between Seldovia and Peterson Bay across from the Homer Spit. Where his grandfather Dan Peterson owned both a fox farm and a fish-trap.
When he was 12 years old his father died of a heart attack leaving Sonny to be the sole provider for his mother and sister who had downs syndrome. He accomplished this by taking over the operation of his fathers' boat the “Sonny Boy” drift netting in Cook Inlet.
Sonny married Barbara Joan Cobban in 1955 and had four children. Hank, Howard, Martin and Geoff. In 1962 they moved to Kodiak. Dad and mom worked hard their entire life. In the early 70’s they bought the 47’ seiner “New Stranger” from Edwin “Pappy” Lilgren. In 1981 they bought the 58’ seiner “Raven”. It was always a point of pride for dad to be able to say he built the boat himself.
After purchasing the “Bare Hull” from Sunnfjiord Boats, dad and mom along with shipwrights Bob Sherman and George Quinlan, deckhands Tommy Allian, Johnny Shultz and Geoff Peterson defied the odds and finished the job in nine months on Lake Washington and then paying off his load in a mere five years.
Dad was also a first-class shipwright spending many springs working for Ivan Fox and New England Fish Co. at the Uganik Cannery preparing the company boats for the upcoming salmon seasons.
After Sonny and Barb retired they spent many summers at their cabin in Uganik Bay near the village islands.
He is preceded in death by Barbara who passed away just two months earlier. He leaves behind three sons, three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. And as Sonny would say, “More in-laws and out-laws than you could shake a stick at”.
The family will celebrate both of these two wonderful people during the Memorial Day blessing of the fleet.