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470 Massachusetts Avenue
PO Box 882
Acton, MA 01720
Phone: 978-263-5333
Fax: 978-263-8193
Cornelius

Cornelius "Pete" Peterson VIII

Friday, January 10th, 2020
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Obituary

Cornelius “Pete” Peterson VIII, Technology Visionary and Oarsman

Cornelius “Pete” Peterson VIII, 83, a longtime resident of Acton, MA, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 10th, 2020 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his loving wife of over 60 years, Marilyn (née Zwygart) Peterson.

Born in New York, NY on August 8th, 1936, he was the son of the late Jesse Dudley Jr. and Edith (née Gorman) Peterson. Pete graduated from the Taft School in 1954 and MIT, with a B.S. in Business and Engineering Administration in 1958 and a M.S. in Industrial Management in 1959.

Pete had a long career as an entrepreneur, on the cutting edge of technology advancements. He was CEO and co-founder of Interactive Supercomputing, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2009. Previously, he founded NetSilicon and was CEO & Chairman through acquisition as a public company. Pete was an active angel investor, mentor to technology companies, member of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service and a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship and technology.

Pete’s outside interests included a passion for rowing which began when Pete was recruited by Jim “Stub” McMillin (one of the “Boys in the Boat”) in the fall of his freshman year at MIT. He competed in the Royal Henley Regatta in 1959 with the Union Boat Club before spending years rowing competitively with the Cambridge Boat Club where he became a decorated Masters oarsman. Pete’s dedication to the sport included years of volunteerism as the Chief Umpire at the Head of The Charles Regatta.

Pete was dedicated to and actively involved with his family. He would often go straight from work to spearheading meticulously planned “projects” at his beloved Camp Iagara in the Adirondacks. After a hard day’s work he could be found in a rocking chair, his dog in his lap, giving advice of all types to the nearest person before retiring to bed ahead of a morning row.

Besides his wife, Pete is survived by his sons, Cornelius “Neil” Peterson IX and his wife Pam of Littleton, MA; Hans G. Peterson and his wife Lynne of Venice, FL and Charles D. Peterson and his wife Bonnie of Lunenburg, MA; eight grandchildren, one great-grandson and his sister Mary “Mimi” (née Peterson) Briggs of Marion, MA.

Pete’s family would like to give special thanks to his doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and request that in lieu of flowers, contributions in Pete’s memory be made to “BIDMC/Prostate Cancer Fund/Garnick/Einstein” and mailed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, ℅ Leah Oko, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Visiting hours are Friday January 17, 2020 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm at the Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton, MA 01720. A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 11:00 am at the Cambridge Boat Club, 2 Gerrys Landing, Cambridge, MA. Memorial page www.actonfuneralhome.com
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, January 17th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    When
    Friday, January 17th, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location
    Acton Funeral Home
    Address
    470 Massachusetts Avenue
    ACTON, MA 01720
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    In lieu of flowers, contributions in Pete’s memory be made to “BIDMC/Prostate Cancer Fund/Garnick/Einstein” and mailed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, ℅ Leah Oko, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.
  • Service

    Sunday, January 19th, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    Sunday, January 19th, 2020 11:00am
    Location
    The Cambridge Boat Club
    Address
    2 Gerry's Landing
    CAMBRIDGE, MA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence
HH

Henry Hamilton

Posted at 01:50pm
In addition to rowing with Pete in many great boats over the years at US Masters Nationals, I did a fair bit of carpentry on his house in Acton. He was always a great boss and never failed to compliment my work.
Probably many today don’t know that Pete for many years single-handedly produced The Oarsman, our monthly rowing magazine for the USRA (known then as the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen or NAAO). He did this for no money and on top of the high powered executive duties of his own businesses.
We will miss Pete!
KL

Ken Lynch

Posted at 03:43pm
Pete
The best person in a boat that I ever rowed with.
Ken

Linda Hoffberg Borghesani

Posted at 03:30pm
I have fond memories of what Pete did for the Bromfield-Acton-Boxborough rowing team and his contributions are not forgotten. Rest in peace Pete.
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