At 68 years young, Randall J. "Randy" Peterson passed away peacefully on Friday, July 30, 2021. Randy was surrounded by family, the soothing sounds of the ocean, and classic Celtic tunes.
Randy was born in Elizabeth, NJ. He graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice from Bunker Hill Community College and earned his MA in Criminal Justice from Western New England College. After working for Western Electric, Randy served on both the Lawrence and Andover police departments for 25 years. He would describe himself as a “street cop” because of how much he relished interacting with folks in the communities he served. As both a patrolman and detective, Randy enjoyed starting his day with road details and ending it on the evening shift. He was frequently described by his colleagues as a fair, honest, detail-oriented, and well-respected officer. His goal was always to de-escalate difficult situations and connect with people on a personal level. He received a commendation for saving someone in distress … and was known to have saved a turtle or two from oncoming traffic.
After retiring, he launched his own interior painting business. When Randy wasn’t meticulously edging baseboards for clients, he could usually be found with family. He spent lots of leisure time attempting to beat his son-in-law, Dana, at cornhole during Sunday Funday events hosted by his daughter, Jennifer; enjoying airshows with his son, Sean; playing Jeopardy! with his daughter-in-law, Brittany; lighting fireworks with his granddaughter, Riley, and grandsons, Aidan and Teagan; cheering on the Patriots at epic playoffs parties hosted by his godson, Danny, and his wife, Chelsea; cooking boiled dinners on St. Patrick's Day; and critiquing his brother-in-law, Wayne, for his “lazy” bartending during big family gatherings for the holidays. Prior to the death of his parents, Randy never missed a Sunday dinner at their home. And he did all of this with his beverage-of-choice — Miller Lite — firmly in hand.
Randy follows his parents, John “Jack” Peterson and Clare (Gallagher) Peterson into the afterlife. He'll be dearly missed by many, including his wife, Eileen (Woods) Peterson of South Lawrence, MA; two brothers, Ric Peterson and wife Denise of Salisbury, MA, and Jeff Peterson of Windham, NH; four children, Jennifer Desrosiers and husband Dana of Pelham, NH, Meghan Kelley and husband Dan of Boston, MA, Sean Peterson and wife Brittany of Methuen, MA, and Ryan Peterson of Berkley, CA; five grandchildren, Aidan, Riley, and Teagan Desrosiers and Isla and Cienna Kelley; and many other family members including his sister-in-law Marylou (Woods) Lang and husband Jack of Methuen, MA; his sister-in-law Kathy (Woods) Donohue and husband Wayne of Salem, NH; his godson, Daniel Lang and wife Chelsea, of Boston MA, and goddaughter Kate (Lang) McKallagat and husband Michael of Methuen, MA.
Randy’s family is deeply grateful to both the staff at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well as the hospice team. Special thanks is given to medical oncologist James Cleary and the non-medical-but-totally-essential care team including Ric and Denise Peterson, Sean Peterson, and Jennifer Desrosiers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Randy’s name to Lustgarten Foundation: https://lustgarten.org/donate/.
Relatives & friends are invited to attend visiting hours at the Diaz-Healy Funeral Home, 107 South Broadway, Lawrence on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 from 4 – 8 p.m. On Thursday, August 5, 2021, Randy’s funeral will begin at the funeral home at 10 a.m. followed by a funeral mass at St. Patrick Church, 118 South Broadway, Lawrence at 11 a.m. Graveside services will be held at St. Mary Cemetery in Lawrence.
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