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James Peterson

Obituary of James E. Peterson

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James E. Peterson Olean, NY James E. Peterson passed away Tuesday (June 1, 2021) at UPMC Chautauqua in Jamestown, following a brief illness. Born November 29, 1934 in Olean, he was the son of Carl and Bertha W. Swanson Peterson. On June 29, 1957 he married Beverly Peterson who survives. Even before Jim completed his schooling he began work as a teenager. He then was drafted into the United States Army in December of 1957 and was honorably discharged in 1959. He served in the US Army Reserves for an additional 2 years. As an adult he worked for many years as an auto body man for the former Atherton’s Garage on S. 13th St. in Olean. He also worked as a cleaner for the Olean Armory and retired from the Olean City School District as a custodian. In his retirement he worked parttime for Olean Class Cars until he became ill. His greatest passion in life was his involvement in the local dirt track racing circuit. He built race cars and racing engines for his sons, Bill and Doug, and his grandson Adam. His greatest achievement was when he and his son Bill were inducted in the Legends Racing Hall of Fame for their over 40 years of commitment to the industry. He will be sadly missed by his loving family and friends, as well as his Black Lab and buddy, Rambo. He leaves behind his loving wife Beverly of 64 years; his 4 children Timothy (Nina) Peterson of Allegany, William (Sandra) Peterson and Doug (Jody) Peterson, both of Olean and Deborah (Jeffrey) Rhinehart of Eldred, PA; grandchildren Bradley Peterson of Cornelius, NC, Marcie (Eli) Rust of Great Valley, Colette (Dennis) Harrison of Allegany, Adam (Mary) Peterson of Olean, Jordan (Charlie) Guzior of Glenmont, Morgan (Jeffrey Baker) Rhinehart of Tyrone, PA, Allyson Rhinehart of Durham, NC, Jack Peterson and Michael Peterson, both of Olean; grandson-in-law Rick Neubauer of Webster, Rachel Smith of Austin, TX and John Belleville of Allegany; great grandchildren Rayce (Jacob Hathaway) Peterson, Kyleigh (Zack Ramsey) Peterson, Leigha Peterson, Blaze Harrison, Harley Harrison, Dennis Harrison, Lina Neubauer, Emily Neubauer, Cheyenne Rust, Abigail Rust, Theron Rust and Evelyn Rituno and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by an infant daughter Tina Marie, and twin sons at birth Mark Anthony and Matt Andrew; his parents Carl and Bertha, his stepfather Norman Williams; his 5 brothers Carl “Richard”, Robert, Charles, Thomas and Lawrence; a granddaughter Lynn Neubauer and a great grandson Ricky Neubauer; a mother-in-law Geneva Peterson and a brother-in-law Milton “Sonny” Peterson. The family will receive friends for a memorial visitation on Monday (June 7, 2021) from 4-8pm at the Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home 3128 W. State Rd. Olean. Memorials may be made to the Cattaraugus County SPCA, 2944 Olean Hinsdale Rd., Olean, NY 14760, the Allegany Engine Co., 188 W. Main St., Allegany, NY 14706 or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be expressed at

Memorial Visitation

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Monday, June 7, 2021
Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home
3128 W. State Rd.
Olean, New York, United States