Joseph Edger Laux
Herman E. Ingram
Lisa J. George
Donald L. Loy
James Ervin (Jim) Peterson
James Ervin (Jim) Peterson, local businessman and community leader, passed away on February 27, at the Venice Regional Medical Center in Venice, Florida. He was 85.
Born on December 10, 1926 in Randolph County, Indiana, Jim was the second child of Harry Jay and Gleah Hiatt Peterson. He attended Portland High School and graduated from Redkey High School in 1944. Following graduation, Jim attended General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan for one year until he was drafted into the US Army in April 1945. He served in Japan and the Philippines immediately following the conclusion of World War II as part of the occupational forces and received his discharge in December 1946 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He then entered the Industrial Training Institute in Chicago, Illinois and in 1947 received a diploma in refrigeration and air conditioning. On September 11, 1948, Jim was married to Jacquin Sue (Jackie) Morrow of Redkey, Indiana, the daughter of India Oma (Marsh) Morrow and James Carl Morrow. Jacquin preceded Jim in death in 1999.
Jim began his business career as an agent for the Standard Oil Company in 1952. It was this exposure to the petroleum industry that led him to the formation of Jay Petroleum in 1959. The company began as a partnership between Jim and National Oil Company of Bluffton. Initially, the business was a supplier of commercial and farm fuels, heating oil, and lubricants. In 1980, Jim and two partners opened the first three Pak-A-Sak convenience stores in Portland, Redkey and Dunkirk, and in 1987 he purchased the company from his partners and brought it under the umbrella of Jay Petroleum. Through new store development and acquisitions, Pak-A-Sak grew into a chain of 39 locations in Indiana and Ohio by 1999.
He retired in 2008.
Jim was a member of the Indiana Oil Marketers Association beginning in 1967, and served on its board of directors from 1981 to 1984. He was also a member of the National Distributor Councils for both Sunoco Oil Company and Mobil Oil Company, and a longtime member of the National Association of Convenience Stores. In 1991 Convenience Store Decisions Magazine named Pak-A-Sak the first recipient of the “Up & Comer Award for Excellence,” and Shell Oil Company recognized Jay Petroleum as its Indiana Distributor of the Year in 1995, 1996, 2003, and 2004.
Jim will mostly be remembered for his love of community. Jim was a strong supporter of the Jay County Fair, and served on the Association’s board during a period of revitalization in the 1970’s. He retired from the board in 1980 after serving in the capacity of both secretary and president. He was a member of the Portland Chamber of Commerce board from 1983 to 1985 and served as its president in 1983, and also served on The Portland Foundation board from 1977 to 1986. In 1996 Jim was selected by the Portland Chamber of Commerce as their recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for service to his local community. He was also a longtime active member of the First Baptist Church in Portland, and most recently attended the First Baptist Church of Venice, Florida.
Jim’s love of community could also be seen through his activity with many community projects and organizations including the Jay Community Center, the Jay County Hospital, the John Jay Center, Arts Place, The Portland Foundation, United Way of Jay County, the Museum of the Soldier, Youth for Christ, the Jay County Historical Society, and the First Baptist Church. His love of nature also propelled him to support the restoration of the Loblolly Marsh Wetlands through the Friends of the Limberlost.
Jim is survived by his second wife Marilyn, five children, Jennifer Hiebert (David) of Scottdale, Pennsylvania, Christa Beach (Lyle) of Bryan, Ohio, Lonette Freeman (Ron) of Portland, Indiana, Lisa Winter (Howard) of Edmond, Oklahoma, Douglas Peterson (Deatra) of Monroe, Indiana, seventeen grandchildren, three great grandchildren, three step-children, Nancy Ford, Matt Runyon, Robin Pijnappels, six step-grandchildren, a brother, John Peterson of Dunkirk, Indiana, and a sister, Joan Peterson Nuckols, Muncie, Indiana.
James E. Peterson Service and visitation information:
Visitation Friday (March 2, 2012) 2 – 7 p.m., Baird-Freeman Funeral Home, 221 North Meridian Street, Portland, Indiana
Funeral Saturday (March 3, 2012) 10:00 a.m., Asbury United Methodist Church, 204 East Arch Street, Portland, Indiana
Memorials may be made to the Jay County Historical Society, the Friends of the Limberlost, the Museum of the Soldier, and Youth for Christ of Jay County.
A memorial service will be held on March the 10th at the First Baptist Church in Venice, FL.