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“Hello, My name is Tom Fryxell and I met Mel at my sister's wedding in the Tetons.I was impressed with Mel's kindness and thoughtfulness. He...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: Tom Fryxell - Connell, WA

“Mr. Peterson was an amazing man, husband and father. Mom, Dad and Angie send their love. I'm so sorry. Love, Jan ”
2 of 14 | Posted by: Janice Meyer - TX

“As a (relative) new-comer to the College, I never new Mel well. But I had many a lunch with Mel, and always appreciated his kindness and his stories...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Emil A. Kramer - Davenport, IA

“I wish to express my condolences regarding Mel's death following the KI Convention in Geneva. I first met Mel at the Lt. Governor-Elect meeting in...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Frank Murphy (Nebraska-Iowa District Secretary) - IA

“I will always remember Mel's passion for service and his desire to allow college students at Augustana to develop this same passion through the...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: Brandon Shultz - Murphysboro, IL

“I had only met Mel a couple time through our shared experiences in Kiwanis. What i remember most is Mel's gentle spirit and smiling personality. Mel...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: Bob Garretson - Fort Collins, CO

“Mel was a real inspiration to us fellow Kiwanians. His leadership and dedication will be missed by all of us in the I-I District. Jack Goodrich,...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: Jack Goodrich - Kishwaukee-DeKalb, IL

“Thank you for allowing me to get to know you and your commitment to Kiwanis. You will be a continious inspiration. ”
8 of 14 | Posted by: M.A. (Fred) Dietze - Hudson, WI

“Just happened to see the obituary when we were in town for Bix. Dr. Peterson was our O. Chem teacher and he was wonderful. We were able to move on...Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: Sharon and Edward Rink - Appleton, WI

“We from the KI District Norden would like to send our deepest condolances, we feel we lost a very warm, nice and good Kiwanian. Our best to the...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: Ralph Castellan, Gov.Elect 2011-12 KIDN

“Mel and I did not have many opportunities to become acquainted, but we did share fellowship at the International Kiwanis Convention in Geneva. I...Read More »
11 of 14 | Posted by: Donald E. "Don" Ritter - KY

“We are so sorry to hear about Mel's death. We are glad that he and Betty made it home safely. He was an extraordinary man and will be greatly...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: Shelly McVietty & family

“Aunt Betty, Kerstin, Jeff, Kai & Ana Uncle Mel was truly 'one in a million'!! Will always cherish the fun Christmases and birthdays we all shared...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Laura Rickey - Niece

“Like so many others, I credit my interest in astronomy to Mel. He just was so excited by all things space-related and it couldn't help but rub off...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Shawn Beattie


Melbert Eugene Peterson, 80, of Moline, died on July 16, 2011 in Berlin Germany while on vacation with his wife.

A memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1330 13th Street, Moline. Visitation will be from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Friday at the church. Private family inurnment will be at Moline Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to Augustana College in Mel’s memory. Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd. is assisting the family with arrangements.

Mel was born on July 30, 1930 in Moline the son of Oscar and Jeanette Anderson Peterson. He married Elizabeth Jennings on September 2, 1967 in Moline.

Mel was a Moline High School graduate and was very proud of making Eagle Scout. He obtained his BS in chemistry from Augustana in 1953 and furthered his education at the University of Illinois with a Masters in Organic Chemistry. Mel went on to graduate school at Oklahoma State University and obtained his PhD in 1967.

Mel worked for 2 years at Morton Salt in Woodstock, Illinois as a research chemist on agriculture chemicals. He moved back to the Quad Cities and began teaching at Augie in 1958. Over the years he taught organic chemistry lecture and laboratory, astronomy and nurses’ chemistry and laboratories for general chemistry. He also started the micro scale organic laboratory program. While teaching at Augie Mel was pre-dental advisor for over 30 years, sat on several college committees, was the college marshal for 10 years. For 18 years he organized and led backpacking trips to the Grand Canyon for Augustana students and others throughout the community.

In 1988 Mel became the director of the John Deere Planetarium & Observatory at Augustana College, and continued to teach Organic chemistry and Astronomy until his retirement in 1995. After his retirement he continued on for 3 more years teaching Astronomy and until his death volunteering as an operator of the Planetarium.

Over the years Mel was an allocations volunteer with the United Way. He was also very active in Kiwanis, in his home club and at both the division and the district level. Mel was a member of the Black Hawk Hiking Club for over 50 years and was on the Wayfinding committee of River Action. He was also a very active member of the local section of the American Chemical Society for over 50 years. Mel was a long-time member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Survivors include
Wife Betty
Daughter Kerstin (Jeff) Halverson
Grandchildren Kai & Ana
Sister Eilene (Ron) Peterson
Sister-in-law Jo Peterson
Nieces & Nephews Laura (Brad) Rickey
Craig (Doris) Peterson
Jeanette Peterson
Jo Lynn Peterson
Many great Nieces & Nephews and family in Sweden.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents & Brother Ronald “Bill” Peterson.

Online condolences may be left for his family by visiting his obituary at www.esterdahl.com