Obituary: Alton Peterson

SPRING VALLEY, CA (May 7, 2014) — Retired Covenant pastor Alton Peterson, 85, died Monday, May 5. The service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 16 at Mount Miguel Covenant Village Bailey Center.

Peterson was born March 29, 1929, in Kingsburg, California, and grew up attending Kingsburg Covenant Church.

He earned an associate’s degree at Reedley College in Reedley, California, a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of California, and graduated from North Park Theological Seminary.

Alton married Christie Anderson on September 1, 1953. She survives.

He served Lake Norden, Spring Lake, and Laketon Covenant churches in South Dakota; First Covenant Church in Jamestown, New York; Evangelical Covenant Church in Simi Valley, California; Trinity Covenant Church in Salem, Oregon; Trinity Covenant Church in Rochester, New York; and Southwest Covenant Church in Jenison, Michigan. He also served as chaplain at Mount Miguel Covenant Village in Spring Valley, California.

In addition to his pastoral work, Alton did drug abuse counseling at clinics in Simi Valley and Salem. He served on the Board of Ministry and Board of Christian Education, as well as the executive boards of the Middle East Conference and Pacific Southwest Conference.

Survivors include a daughter, Sarah Svendsen; and a son, Daniel Peterson. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Marcia Peterson; and a son, Kurt Peterson.


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  • When I met Alton I was struck by his gentle demeaner and quiet wit. He was already in his 80s and though I was the new “boyfriend” in the family he took the time to see and hear me.

    Alton spoke the many languages of love.

    Now that I have been married to his granddaughter for about a year, and he has been gone for two, I can see how his love has shaped my wife and thus our life together. Alton’s spirit is alive and working within this young woman (and within me)! We speak of him often and wonder what he would say. We pray for his counsel as we move forward in our life together. May we be as kind, gentle, wise, humble, good and honest as Mor Far. May we see those who have been forgotten or cast aside and learn to speak the languages of love that Alton knew well – especially the ones that require no words. Thank you God for Alton & Christie, for his daughter Sarah & son-in-law Dale and for his grandchild Kirsten, who I have had the privilege of knowing him through.

    Peace Always,
    Dane Breslin

  • Christie,
    I remember fondly the influence both you and Alton had on my life as a teenager at First Covenant in Jamestown. I know you have had a wonderful ministry throughout your years together. May God give you the strength you need now through this difficult time.

  • We’re so very sorry for the loss of Alton, Christie. You were always a team unit. We know you must be lonely. May you feel loved and upheld by the hands of the father until you and Alton meet again. Love, Rick and Marla

  • It is times like these that home town childhood friends take on new meaning. Many are the memories of times spent with Alton and Christie in the Kingsburg Covenant church, in hi-league, at parties, and at our High School Bible Club. I was a freshman when Alton was a senior and Christie a junior when we organized the Bible Club. We met first in the Lutheran Church across the street. Then again we shared time together when Alton was at North Park, Christie was the school nurse and I was the seminary librarian. We share our sorrow and times of loneliness, having lost our guys within three days of each other, but we also can share in the peace and comfort that only God can give. My love to you Christy

  • Dear Christy:
    We are so sad to learn of Alton’s passing. Our prayers have been with you and your family. We have so many wonderful memories of the times we shared with you in Jamestown and then in Simi Valley. Alton’s ministry and
    life was so meaningful to us. We especially remember the starting of the church in Simi and the many times we had together. We will keep you in our prayers and hope our paths will bring us together again. Our deepest sympathy to you. Peace to his memory. With our love, Marilyn and Bob Poor

  • Dear Christie, Our heart felt sympathy in this time of sorrow. We know how close you and
    Alton were and all the good work you did. May God bless you and your family.
    Stanford Nursing Class of 1953

  • Alton & Christie lived above Stan Holme and I at North Park. I then followed him at Jamestown First Covenant and Fellowship Covenant in Jenison. Many great memories!

  • I have such fond memories from childhood of Alton, Christie and the kids. Alton served the First Covenant Church of Jamestown, New York, along side of my father, Rev. Paul W. Peterson. In later years we would visit together in California. Since the deaths of both of my folks I have been remiss in keeping up many of our family friendships and contacts. Even though I have lived in Florida for some 45 years. I still consider Jamestown to be home and Alton and Christie were a big part of that. Christie, Sarah, Danny – you are in my thoughts and prayers. Your are often thought about and very fondly remembered.

  • Dear Christie,
    Remembering your influence on our lives when you were in Jamestown. May our Lord give you peace and comfort, strength and new interests in the days ahead.
    Blessings and Love in Christ, Donna

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you, Christie, and family. I have wonderful memories of times with Alton – in Rockford, in Kingsburg, at your home at Mt. Miguel,and on the Youth Board. His dad, Alton, Sr. was a special friend as well as Chuck and Helen. May God be with you and bring comfort. Love, Shirley

  • Alton and Christie were my Hi-League counselors while I was in high school at North Park Academy. I remember them both as very caring and approachable in terms of asking for advice or spiritual counsel. I remember that Alton, had a real desire to share his faith in Christ and he carried his Bible with him to have available to share the truth of the word of God. He and Christie are among the thousands I will enjoy sharing the glories of our Lord with when we all get to heaven. Maranatha.

    Paul Hanson

  • Reading this news calls up my mother’s voice. I clearly recall her speaking often of Alton and Christie during those years they were in Lake Norden. Their love and care enriched her life. I will always be grateful! The peace of God to you, Christie! Grace

  • Alton Peterson was one of the most deeply good, kind, caring, steady, and generous people I have ever known, and a dear friend. Thanks be to God for his servant Alton, and for Christie too.

  • We were just saying we have not heard from you in awhile and now know why. We are very sad for your loss. Alton was so special to us, and he will be missed Prayers and Love N&B

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