Former co-workers of Randall Peterson said the light rain that fell Thursday morning was suitable for an event in his honor.
Friends, family members and colleagues joined at the Board of Public Utilities Water Division building in an event commemorating his many years of service as a civil engineer and to celebrate the building’s new name in his honor. Peterson passed away on Jan. 8 at his home in Loomis Bay.
Those who spoke made an effort to stress just how much Peterson’s life revolved around water and his dedication to ensuring efficient delivery of the utility in the community prior to his retirement in 2010.
Mayor Sam Teresi was in attendance and spoke about working with Peterson through the BPU. He recalled his last conversation with Peterson and memories they shared.
“He cared deeply about his job and took to heart the responsibility we all have,” Teresi said. “He cared about the utility and services we provide to the community we live in. He loved working for the Jamestown BPU and it was evident in what they produced every day and the legacy he’s left. That’s why our meeting here today is so appropriate, and I know it would have been appreciated.”
Michael Darroch, former deputy general manager for the BPU’s Electric Division, spent more than 30 years of his career working with Peterson.
“He was quite close to me,” he said. “I look at this as something that really honors Randy not only as the dedicated, hardworking and innovative employee he was, but also the person who was active in the community, cared about the community and the people in it.”
Darroch and David Leathers, BPU general manager, spoke extensively of Peterson’s demeanor.
Leathers said Peterson wasn’t afraid to push the norm, try something new and different and challenge the status quo.
“He was a leader – sometimes he was a little difficult to follow,” Leathers joked. “But he wasn’t afraid of decision-making and the responsibility and criticism that sometimes come with it. When anyone goes by the BPU Water Division I think it’s important that they remember Randy and all of us continue to remember Randy for what he gave to us, what he gave to the utility and provided to the community.”
Peterson’s wife, Sue, extended gratitude to those at the BPU after the building’s new name was unveiled in big bold letters.
“It has been our life,” she said. “It’s been amazing to see the growth of the Water Division and BPU expansion. Randy worked to try and create a family wherever he was. I am touched and I thank you.”