Members of the Copperas Cove community mourned the passing of former city councilman and community volunteer Mark Peterson, who died Sept. 4 at his Copperas Cove home.
Peterson’s family, currently in the process of organizing the funeral, took some time to share what they loved about him.
“Mark was a wonderful father to our daughters and ‘dragged’ me into doing foster care,” said his wife, Laura Peterson. “As he said, we are foster parents, but they aren’t foster kids.”
Mark Peterson first served on the Copperas Cove City Council in 2007 after winning a runoff election for Place 3. Many of the city council members he served with said they respected him and admired his work ethic.
“He was a good guy ... and he was a real workhorse,” Councilman Kirby Lack said. “He did his homework better than any other council member I’ve worked with. A lot of us have jobs while we serve on the council, but (Peterson) was retired, so he could devote most of his time and energy to the city. He worked hard for the city, and I respected him.”
Council members were not the only city officials to comment on Mark Peterson’s work ethic. City manager Ryan Haverlah also noted how much time he would put in studying a subject before coming to a decision.
“City Council makes decisions that affect our community, and many times those decisions are not easy,” Haverlah said. “While on City Council, Mark regularly studied and evaluated situations before recommending and setting policies.”
Laura Peterson said they chose to retire in Copperas Cove in 2001. Because Peterson had served in the military for 30 years — he actually met and married her while stationed at Fort Hood in 1980 — they decided the city was a good area to retire in.
“He always wanted to have time to volunteer,” she said. “He felt like he was given many opportunities by others in his younger life, by people he didn’t know and by charities such as YMCA. They helped him get to be independent and grow his life.”
Mark Peterson volunteered in many areas, including Copperas Cove ISD, the Exchange Club (at local and district levels), AUSA, the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and Meals on Wheels.
Laura Peterson said her husband had always had a passion for Copperas Cove, and that he was constantly trying to see it grow, and grow responsibly.
“If you don’t grow, you die; there is no standing still,” she said. “He wanted a safe place for families and children, businesses to help with taxes, and responsible government. ... I think he felt like Cove was a microcosm for the world. If it is run well, the world is ok. He always promoted our community — all of it.”
Graveside services for Mark Peterson will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Grace United Methodist Church, 101 W. Avenue F, in Copperas Cove.