Raymond J. Peterson, age 86, of Warwick Avenue, Cranston, died on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the VA Medical Center in West Roxbury, Mass.
Born in Providence, a son of the late Frederick G. and Nellie A. (Cole) Peterson, he was a lifelong Warwick resident until moving to Cranston in later years. He was a United States Army veteran of the Korean War.
Mr. Peterson was employed as a toolmaker for various companies in the area. He graduated from Northeast Broadcasting in Boston, later going into the record business, recording with many local big bands and others. The first release written and recorded by the Mark II by Wayne Cogswell and Ray went up the charts and in nine countries was called “Night Theme,” making it into the RI Music Hall of Fame in 2014. His songs have been recorded by Lawrence Welk and numerous others.
Later over the years Ray and his loving, belated companion, Hari, entertained all over the state with beautiful piano music. Ray loved people, his music, animals and entertaining in numerous places and was known for his belly button brush.
He is survived by two sons, Raymond J. Peterson Jr. of Warwick and Gary A. Peterson and his wife, Sherriann, of Warwick; a brother, Frederick P. Peterson of Coventry; two grandsons, Raymond J. Peterson and Gary A. Peterson Jr.; two nephews, Raymond F. Peterson of South Carolina and Peter J. Peterson of West Warwick; his loving companion, Terry; and his stepdaughter, Cheryle.
His funeral service will be held on Friday, May 17 at 10 a.m. in Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick. Visiting hours will be on Thursday, May 16 from 5-8 p.m. Burial with military honors will be in Pawtuxet Memorial Park, Warwick.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Warwick Animal Shelter, 101 Arthur Devine Blvd., Warwick, RI 02886. Visit www.barrettandcotter.com.