Richard Frank (Dickie) Peterson Jr, of Newburgh, NY entered into eternal rest on May 23, 2016. He was born October 3, 1944 to the late Richard and Bernice Peterson. This union fostered an inseparable sibling bond with his sister Brenda Peterson.
Dickie was a graduate of Newburgh Free Academy in 1959. He attended St. Augustine College. Where he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Gamma Psi Chapter and was dubbed “Pete the Greek”.He went on to attend law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC, SUNY, Old Westbury, N.Y., and the Quality Institute of Detroit, MI. He then married his college sweetheart the late Hattie Mae Carter Peterson in 1969, and moved back to Newburgh, NY. There he worked for Allstate sales for over 30 years, receiving an Outstanding Agent Award.
He dedicated his life to serving the City of Newburgh in many capacities including, Newburgh Enlarged School District Strategic Planning Committee, Community Redevelopment Planning Committee, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of Community Block Grants. He was a lifetime member of the NAACP, and served as Vice President and was named Man of the Year. He took the helm at the historic Varick Homes HDFC when it was in crisis in 1992. It was debt free by 2012; the first African American owned HUD property in NY State to hold that distinction with an inspection score of 90%.
He was dedicated to the youth of Newburgh, his contributions including Volunteer Coordinator for the Tennis League. He coached Pop Warner football leading them to five consecutive championships. He was Inner City Playground Coordinator serving on the Youth Night Out Committee and the Police and People Neighborhood Policing Project. He was founder and boxing master of Hook Incorporated Boxing. He also served on the Salvation Army Community Board Feeding Program. In addition, he was a key member of many sports teams including the Road Runners men’s softball team.
Dickie was a Mason Shriner, Prince Hall Affiliation. He also served as the Past President Emeritus of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Kappa Epsilon Lambda where he was a member for more than 50 years. As he strived to be a model to the minority community he was involved in the following businesses; the Vietnam Veterans Club, Peterson Insurance and Investments, Peterson Half Court Bar and Grill, Owner/Operator ALLSTATE Neighborhood Sales Office, Southern Comfort Soul Food Fast Food Restaurant and Catering and Dickie’s Quick Stop Wine and Liquor Store.
Dickie was also a prolific artist. Since the age of nine, he participated in various art presentations and contests. His work has been displayed at the Saratoga Summer Arts Festival, Newburgh Free Library, and the Ann Street Gallery.
He leaves behind his loving and devoted wife Belinda Peterson, loving sister Brenda Peterson Eason and his children Lisa Marie (Lawrence) Fox, Letitia (Shedrick) Elliott, Ebony (Michael-Deceased) Anderson, Riki (Alton) Jicha, Onyx (Karl) Williams, Richard (Roxanna) Peterson, (loving step-children) Tomesha E. Pearson, Patrice N. Wilson, (his grandchildren) Michael, Sharea, Kharon, Johnathan, Alera, Richard IV, Asa, (his niece) Kea Eason. and (God-daughter) Avia Mundle. Along with a host of relatives; Peterson’s, Valentine’s, Moultrie’s, Taylor’s Carter’s, Wilson’s, God-children and his Peterson-Varick family (Shandy Bunting-Jacobs, Damiah Dasher, Richard King, Jose Nieves, Arthur King, Morris Elvie, MichaelTritasa, Odell Watford, and Bob Watford). Special Friend Benilda Armstead Jones and God-Niece Daniella Jones. Devoted Friends Eric Keys, Jimmy Van Dunk, Martin Cohen and a host of relatives and friends.
Funeral Services were held at Baptist Temple, in Newburgh on Tuesday.