648 Main Street
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
Phone: 508-845-6226
Fax: 508-842-0061
Clifford Peterson

Clifford L. "Cliff" Peterson

Wednesday, September 8th, 1926 - Sunday, December 29th, 2019
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Clifford Leonard “Cliff” Peterson, age 93, died peacefully on Sunday December 29, 2019. He is survived by his daughter, Melinda M. Gauthier and her husband Mark of Sterling, his son, Leonard S. “Lennie” Peterson and his fiancée Samantha Larocque of Kingston, and his loving grandchildren, Kevin Gauthier, Jackie Reidy, and Todd Rawley. He is also survived by his four great-grandchildren, Noah, Carly, Josie, and Cam; a son-in-law, Bruce T. Rawley; as well as his loving partner and companion of fourteen years, Judith Taft.

Cliff is predeceased by his wife, Shirley (Coleman) Peterson, and his second wife, Mildred (Allen) Peterson; as well as his daughter, Christine Rawley, who passed away in October, and his brother, Stanley Peterson.

Cliff (b. September 8, 1926) and his two siblings were born in Worcester. When he was five years old, his parents, Ida (Anderson) and Swedish immigrant Ernest Peterson, moved the family to West Boylston, MA and attended the West Boylston Public Schools.

Cliff enlisted in the Navy directly out of high school in 1944 and, as a reserve cadet, qualified for the Navy Music School; however, he was late with his decision and became a Seabee. As a result of a submarine attack in the South Pacific, he was hospitalized and given an honorable discharge with disability status after four years of service.

In 1950, Cliff married Shirley Coleman from Mendon, MA. The couple had three children and he continued his career as a machinist and die sinker at Wyman Gordon company in Grafton, MA where the family made their home. A highlight of his life, Cliff eventually had the opportunity to go to Bombay, India for six months for the company where he trained workers there in his specialized trade. Cliff retired after 39 years at Wyman Gordon.

Sadly, after many years of being happily married, Shirley died in 1985 after succumbing to leukemia. Cliff then married Mildred Allen and became residents of Leicester, MA and then Auburn, MA. They enjoyed life together with many travels and an active social life for 19 years. In 2006, Millie was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed shortly after.

In the following years, Cliff was appreciative of the support from his family as well as his devoted longtime girlfriend, Judi Taft, and her family and his countless friends. He considered his family and friends a “godsend”.

Outside of his family, Cliff enjoyed several hobbies, good food, camping, travel, fun, and a special love of music. As a life-long trumpet player, he performed with many Central Massachusetts community and marching bands. Later in life, he was the conductor of the Aletheia Grotto Band, leading the band in countless public performances and charity concerts throughout many years.

He was a Master Mason (Franklin Lodge A.F. & A.M. Shrewsbury) and a member of the Aleppo Shriners as well as a longtime active member, secretary, and president of the Greendale Men’s Club. He was also a member and guest preacher at his church, the First Congregational Church in Auburn, MA.
The recent heartbreak of his daughter Christine’s illness and death coincided with his health issues and natural death. He died peacefully in the hospital in the presence of family and friends, just 2 days after leaving his residence at The Overlook in Charlton, MA.
His many loved ones will cherish the stories, happy memories, and laughter he left behind for a lifetime.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours from 4 to 7 PM on Monday, January 6, 2020 at the BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central Street,
Auburn, MA. Funeral services for Cliff will be held on Tuesday January 7, 2020 at 11:00 AM at the First Congregational Church of Auburn, 128 Central Street, Auburn, MA followed by burial in Riverside-Fairview Cemetery in Grafton.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, January 6th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Monday, January 6th, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Britton-Wallace Funeral Home
    91 Central Street
    AUBURN, MA 01501
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 11:00am
    First Congregational Church of Auburn
    128 Central Street
    AUBURN, MA 01501
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Brian Grover

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Private Condolence

Brad Klar

Posted at 08:28am
I got to know Cliff when playing trumpet in the Alethia Grotto Band. Cliff’s personality made him a great fit to be the band’s conductor. While he was a wonderful musician and, of course, a true gentleman, I will especially remember him for his humor and the way he used it to evoke smiles and laughter from so many in all ofhis audiences, including the band. Thank you, Cliff for sharing your life and talents with us all and to his beloved family and friends, my sincere condolences.
Brad Klar

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