Richard "Dickie Pete" Peterson, 1938-2011 |

Richard "Dickie Pete" Peterson, 1938-2011

Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyLongtime Vail resident Richard Earl "Dickie Pete" Peterson died Monday.

Richard Earl “Dickie Pete” Peterson skied the upper bowls toward heaven on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011.

He was born in Hurley, Wis., on Oct. 23, 1938. He graduated from Hurley High School in 1956 and before that, he formed the Hurley High School Ski Team. He was also a ski patroller in the early years at Mount Zion in Ironwood, Mich., which gave him his start in ski patrolling.

In the late ’50s, he moved west to the Sugar Bowl ski area in California, and because he had explosives experience in the National Guard, he was invited down to Loveland in 1960-61, where he ran the patrol. The word got out about Vail, and in the spring of ’62, he moved here and found its beauty and rarity.

Some of the amazing accomplishments for Dick were, for one, talking Howard Head into wrapping aluminum around a wood ski, which became the first Head ski. He repped for all aspects of Head for years. He invented the “Dickie Pete” file, which was preferred by racers across the country. He and his patrol friends did security for President Ford while he skied, and he put on elk feeds for the presidential party. There’s a presidential clock and golf clubs in his home. He also repped for Scott and was instrumental in designing the first buckle boot. There are drawings in his home from 15 years ago of a parabolic ski.

Everyone said that when Dick skied down Vail, it was like a swan moving effortlessly over the snow, and no one skied as gracefully as he did.

In 1968, he met Phebe at the Garton’s Cornuti Bar in Vail. They got married in 1970. In 1978, their son Nick was born, and in 1981, their son Clint was born.

Dick loved to hunt elk, deer and birds and was a sharpshooter.

There will be a memorial service at a near future date.

He is survived by Phebe, Nick and Clint and his nephew Todd; brothers Jerry and Hank; a sister, Helen; step-brother Dennis Nolan and step-sister Jean Martin; and his lifetime friend Dominic Longhini.

The family would like all of you to take either one run down the Back Bowls or down Riva Ridge in honor of Dickie Pete.

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