Ransom H. “Pete” Peterson

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – Ransom, better known to his friends and loved ones as Pete, 89, of Port Orange, Florida, completed his final lap with some of his biggest fans surrounding him on Jan. 8, 2024.

He was born to Lillian Moon and Authur Peterson in Portland Maine, September 1934. He was given his beloved grandfather’s name Ransom. AKA Handsome Ransom spent his life here in Maine up until retirement.

As a young man Pete had many loves of his life. One being stock car racing. For 34 years he could always be found at Beech Ridge Speedway, his home track, where he and his brother Donny were known as “The Peterson Boys”; forces to be reckoned with. Always a top contender he ran Bombers, Late Models, and Modifieds. Known for having an aggressive driving style, (no fear) and great-looking cars. Out of all the trophies and awards received in those years the one dearest to his heart was the MSSCRA/Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Memorial Blazer.

His love for cars was evident in the meticulous care he took when working on them. To this day whether it’s admirers of his cars or one of the many stranded friends and family members whom he lent a hand to when something went wrong with theirs, everyone will tell you Pete was the best mechanic around.

On Dec. 8, 1968, the night of the stock car banquet, Pete lost his brother Donny in a car accident. At that moment Pete lost a part of himself, not regained until now that he’s rejoined Donny. In his passing I told him to let go, that Donny was reaching out for him and to grab his hand, I know that brought him comfort. The two of them are undoubtedly racing one another again and causing the same sort of shenanigans they were once known for!

Blast from the past Wolf Fords Auto Sales, many years as a mechanic, shop foreman, and finishing on the sales floor where he was recognized as top salesman multiple times. He had a saying “There’s an ass for every seat” he wasn’t wrong. Leaving Wolfs he settled into JJ Nissen’s Bakery, fine tuning the delivery fleet and rescuing stranded drivers in the fiercest snowstorms.

After retiring Pete spent his later years in Florida where he lived with his wife Joann and his dog Charlie. Outside of work and racing, Pete cherished time with his family and friends. Always ready for a night of dancing at the club.

He is survived by his wife Joann, brother Authur, daughters Carol Fanning and her husband Dan, Candace Fitzgerald, her husband Tom, always loved and thought of as a son John Kelly and his wife Teri. His grandchildren and great grandchildren, who will miss their Bump. He is predeceased by his parents, brother Donny, sisters Evie and Bonnie.

A gathering for Pete to share memories, stories and love will be held 1-4 p.m., Sunday, May 26, at Coppersmith’s Tavern & Table, 671 Main Street, South Portland.

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