Bio: Peterson, Alan "Moose" (Eulogy - 1974)
Contact: Duane Horn
Surnames: Peterson, Porath, Kimball, Berg
----Source: Scrapbook Collection of Duane Horn, authored by Toddy Porath, April 1974
The Moose Was a Great Guy
by Toddy Porath
There are too few people in any city who will continually contribute finances generously toward projects required to make their home towns better places in which to live. When Black River Falls, or any other place, looses such a man at an early age, the loss is felt even more.
Since the death of Alan "Moose" Peterson last Thursday, there has been a feeling of irreparable loss among his many friends and acquaintances--a feeling which will never be entirely effaced by those who knew him best.
Don Berg, Jackson County zoning administrator, expressed it this way, "Another one of the Clan is gone. This community can ill afford to lose another one such as Moose. Now where will all the charities and kindnesses come from?" Don knew it was the common practice when a public solicitation was to start to contact "the Moose" first, because they knew he would be generous and that would get the solicitation off to a good start.
The news of the death of Moose was received by most folks like a body blow. But death has brought to a sudden end the expanding career of a man of brilliant mind and enormous dynamism--a man who, before he was 30 years old, had achieved the distinction of being one of the area's leading businessmen.
When Moose Peterson was 24 years old and fresh out of the service, he was the youngest franchised car dealer in Wisconsin, and probably the biggest. That was when he acquired the Chevrolet and Oldsmobile agencies. He said he got into the car business because he had always been interested in cars--new, old and the racing variety. From then on his outgoing manner and salesmanship won him many awards and honors from his companies.
The towering 6'4" Moose got his nickname at Black River Falls high school, where he graduated in 1954. Later he capitalized on the name by placing the bigger-than-life size figure of a moose on his used car lot on Highway 12.
He told a journalism student in an interview in 1970 that he liked to do what he wanted to do on his own time, so he did not join organizations which would have tied him down. He commented, "You never know when a customer will call for an after hours appointment and you can't say, "Sorry, but I have to go bowling." And he found out that between selling cars and the stock car racing circuit, there wasn't much time for anything else.
He once said, "It's a funny thing about cars--once you get them in your blood, you can't get them out." Moose used to race stock cars, but in recent years he mellowed to sponsoring drivers and cars. He continued to win many racing circuit awards.
Moose Peterson sought happiness by promoting the happiness of others. The annual "beef roast party" he and Bob Kimball sponsored is a typical example of this. Some of his generosity were only known to a few; but not long ago the Banner Journal carried a story about Moose donating specialized calculus equipment to the local high school.
I treasure one particular memory about Moose. He told me that on one hot Sunday morning while he was sitting in church, he thought something should be done about the uncomfortable conditions. It thus prompted him to take the initial step toward purchasing air conditioning for the church. He offered a substantial sum for the project and since then, others have also contributed.
Moose would have cringed at the thought of such an eulogy as this. He was the kind of fellow who would have liked nothing better than to realize that so many people thought he was a great guy.
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