Robert Leon Petterson

1932 - 2018

Robert Leon Petterson, 85, of Lewes, passed away Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, peacefully, surrounded by his wife and grandchildren in his home.

Robert was born May 26, 1932, in Pismo Beach, Calif. The family moved to San Louis Obispo, Calif., where he spent most of his childhood. Robert attended The California Polytechnic Institute, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering. The next step for Robert was the U.S. Army. He served for 10 years, and retired as a major.

Professionally, Robert worked in California in the architectural engineering field. In 1966, he was offered a job in Detroit, Mich., as a project director with Giffels and Rossetti Inc. Robert then moved to Chicago, Ill., and was asked by a colleague to develop the Masterspec System (first computer-based program) for construction specifications and evaluations. He continued to work as an architectural engineer, moving to Washington, D.C. and eventually Lewes.

In 1971, Robert's life changed when a friend in the field of architecture introduced him to his cousin, Barbara Fiock. They were married a year later in 1972. Together, Barb and Bob renovated and sold houses throughout the D.C. area until Barbara found an old mucilage brush factory in Lewes, where she already owned a home. Luckily, Bob was there to help her buy the factory and for years they traveled back and forth between D.C. and Lewes working on houses.

In 1992, they made the move to Lewes permanent. Barbara flourished as an artist and Bob consulted on many projects including the Commercial Architectural Review Commission for Lewes, and the building and design of the Lewes Canalfront Park and the new Lewes Public Library with good friend Jon Lester. Bob was very involved in the Lewes Yacht Club, where he held the title of Burgeemeister. He earned this position after he commented on the state of the three poor burgees that hung sadly on the wall of the old building. He and his beloved wife Barbara traveled the world, trading burgees with clubs. He collected 507 burgees from across the U.S. and Europe. These burgees now hang proudly in the new Lewes Yacht Club, which Bob helped build and design.

Bob enjoyed reading books of all kinds, walking the beach with his wife, watching his great-grandkids swim, fishing with his grandson, riding his bike around town, and occasionally being a docent at the Overfalls Museum.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Barbara Petterson of Lewes; his son Rex Petterson and wife who reside in Michigan; son Nick Petterson of Prescott, Ariz.; daughter Nonnie Nelson of Prescott; granddaughter Nicole Nelson of Santa Barbara, Calif., grandson Jeremy Nelson of Prescott, and grandson Jordan, his wife Hannah, and two great-grandchildren Hayden and Reese Petterson of Milton. In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to the Overfalls Foundation of Lewes.