April 21, 1921 ~ June 19, 2019

Born in: Carney, MI
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Lyle Warren Peterson, age 98, born in Carney, MI, died on June 19, 2019 in Asheville, NC at Deerfield, where he had lived for 20 years.
He was predeceased by his parents, Charles and Alma Peterson; by his three older brothers, Vincent, Oliver, and Eugene; by his daughter, Mary Ellen Saville; and by his son, Daniel Peterson.
Lyle was graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. degree, and from Columbia Presbyterian Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity degree and later with a Master of Divinity degree from the same institution. He was ordained into the Presbyterian ministry in 1946 and spent two years serving as pastor of the Slidell, LA and the Picayune, MS Presbyterian churches.
He married Catherine McLauchlin in 1943, and they were appointed by the Board of World Missions of the Presbyterian Church, US to go to China as missionaries so they spent two years studying Chinese at Yale University. Because China’s doors closed, they went instead to Japan, spending their first two years in intensive study of the Japanese language. For the next 20 years their home was in Kochi, Japan, where Lyle engaged in Church Planting evangelism in cooperation with the Reformed Church in Japan. He traveled extensively to towns along the ocean and some in the mountains where he established meeting places and churches.
In 1972 he and his wife moved to Kobe where he became pastor of the neighboring Osaka Chinese Presbyterian Church, with which he was closely related until retirement. He was also instrumental in the beginning of the Suzurandai Church in Kobe, and held a very responsible position with the Yodogawa Christian Hospital in Osaka. For the final ten years of his ministry in Japan Lyle was appointed Administrative Agent of the Japan Mission of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Lyle and his wife had four children, two of whom predeceased him: Mary Ellen Saville and Daniel Peterson, both in 2017. He is survived by his wife, Catherine, with whom he celebrated their 76th anniversary on June 16. Also surviving are daughter Ann Peterson, of Richmond, VA, and son Richard Peterson.
Lyle Peterson was an Art Pioneer at Deerfield, and a former hiker who became a trailblazer on the Deerfield grounds. He was also a pianist and singer who enjoyed sharing all of his artistic talents. The Peterson family would like to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation to the entire Deerfield staff for their exceptional care and compassion for our loved one.
Memorial services will be held at 10:00 AM Friday, June 28, 2019 in the Healthcare Services Chapel at Deerfield Retirement Community, and again at 2:00 PM in St. Giles Chapel at Deerfield.


Memorial Service: June 28, 2019 10:00 am

Deerfield Health Care Chapel
Highbridge Crossing
Asheville, NC 28803


Memorial Service: June 28, 2019 2:00 pm

Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Center
1617 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803


Room: St. Giles Chapel


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  1. Mr. Peterson was always so pleasant and upbeat when we saw him at Deerfield. He and Catherine were wonderful friends to our mother. Truly a life well-lived.

  2. Ann & family, sorry very for your loss. What a rich and inspiring life your father led. May his memories, his music and his art live on to comfort and inspire you.

  3. Our sympathy & prayers to your family. Lyle was such a gifted man. I fondly remember your furlough visits to Carney & Lyle playing the piano, singing & speaking at church. My aunt Grace (Gil) Anderson Cotterill remembers his speaking of his passion for spreading the gospel. Ann, you were such a fun playmate & I looked forward to spending time with you. I still have the gifts you brought me from Japan. Your family was so special. I pray God will give you the peace & strength you need at this difficult time.

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