Kenneth Peterson Kenneth (Kenny) Dean Peterson passed away quietly on Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Ken was born to Georgia and Chriss Peterson in Ellensburg on September 30, 1944. Ken graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1962. In his youth Ken was an active member of 4-H and Future Farmers of America, and went on to support both during the Kittitas County Jr. Livestock Sale for many years. He enjoyed being his own boss while operating a custom bailing service as a young man. In 1965 while attending Central Washington State College he opened Ellensburg's first coin operated car wash. Ken's Auto Washette in the old OK Rubber Tire building on East Capital Ave. He sold the car wash for a time when he enlisted in the US Air Force from 1965 - 1969. After his discharge he worked for Florsheim Shoe Company, starting in San Francisco and eventually covering stores in Los Angeles and Arizona while based out of Chicago. Ken returned to the Valley in 1975 and bought back his original carwash and went to work with his Dad at Peterson Equipment. He went on to open Ken's Auto Wash, a full service car wash on Main Street, another self-serve location with a convenience store on University Way. He branched out to open a Quick Lube on Main Street and acquired a Car Wash and Quick Lube in Sunnyside as well in 1995. During his time as a local business man Ken always gave back to the community, serving for many years on the Ellensburg School District Vocation Advisory Committee, the Ellensburg Civil Service Board, The Ellensburg City Council (1979 - 1983). Ken was a founding Director of Kittitas Valley Bank (1992 - 2000). His longest tenured role was on the Ellensburg Rodeo Board from 1986 - 2008. He was most proud of his work as the Director of Grounds and General Services and spent many of his summers on projects like the Buckaroo Section, new Bucking Chutes, the Gold Buckle Room and the Western Village. Ken served as President in 2000 and 2001. Ken liked cars of all types, but had a love for Corvette's. He owned several throughout his lifetime and enjoyed many trips with the Ellensburg Convertible Club. He enjoyed working with wood and built several pieces of furniture. He would do anything for his family and friends and will be missed by all. Ken was preceded in death by his mother Georgia. Ken is survived by his wife Zora, his father Chriss Peterson of Ellensburg; sister Sally Lundberg of Issaquah; daughter Robin (Don) Cashman of Katy TX; son Christopher (April) Peterson of Crossville TN; daughter Danae (Russ) Cramer of Ellensburg; son Brandon (Nicole) Robertson of Ellensburg. Grandchildren Eliana, Bryleigh and Kiera Peterson; Colt and Cross Cramer; Crue and Julia Robertson. A Memorial will be held on Friday January 13, 2017 in the Kittitas Valley Event Center-Manastash Room at 2:00 PM, following a private graveside service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Kittitas Co. 4-H Endowment @ PO Box 802 or the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame @ 110 W 6th Ave #374.
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