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Clifford Victor Peterson

Clifford Victor Peterson

Clifford Victor Peterson, age 64, died peacefully on April 13, 2020 at his home in Grants Pass, Oregon, from complications of advanced Parkinson's Disease.

Cliff was born on January 18, 1956 in Deer Lodge, Montana to Dean and Norma (Dixon) Peterson. Cliff was a man of many facets that evolved throughout his life. As his father worked for the National Park Service, Cliff lived in both Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rainier National Park as a child. This left an indelible mark on him; a great love of nature’s wonders.

Cliff graduated from Washington State University in June of 1978 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He was immediately scooped up by Chevron and worked with them and their international affiliates as a petroleum project manager for 25 years. He worked on projects in Saudi Arabia, Bakersfield, Indonesia, London, and Kazakhstan until his retirement in 2003.

Cliff's love of travel and passion for nature photography combined two of his favorite hobbies to create extraordinary art. This kept him entertained in retirement even to his later days. He was also an avid birder. Using the eBird app to track his sightings, Cliff is one of the primary recorders for many locations documented in eBird. Cliff was known for his quick wit, intelligence, and success at being a lifelong learner.

Cliff is preceded in death by his parents, Dean and Norma Peterson. He is survived by his wife Sharon Peterson; two daughters, Heather Peterson and Kelsey Peterson; three stepsons, Benjamin Guttenberger, Jonathan Guttenberger, and Nicolas Guttenberger; former wife and mother of his daughters, Wendy (Webb) Peterson; two siblings, DeAnn Peterson and Dr. Marje Pederson; in-laws, two nephews, a niece, and many, many friends around the world.

A memorial celebration of Cliff's life will be held at a later date given the current medical crisis. In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorial donations may be made to the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO) where Cliff spent many volunteer hours birding, counting birds for HawkWatch, and entering data. Cliff made such an impact to the birding community. Link to GCBO donor form is below or you can email Tricia Patton (tpatton@gcbo.org) about donating directly.


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I was very saddened to hear of Cliff's passing. I worked with Cliff on several projects around the world in Sumatra, Kazakhstan, London, and Bakersfield. He was a very talented project professional who was well respected and a pleasure to work with.

But the most memorable times with Cliff were going on the adventures he would organize after work. Like mountain biking through the trails in the Sumatran jungle, shooting the rapids down the jungle rivers, and going horseback riding in the mountains above Almaty, Kazakhstan. He was always fun to be with and treated everyone respectfully.

David Dimond Jun 19 2020 12:00 AM