Dr. Abraham Frederick Peterson, Jr., known as June by family, and Pete by his close friends, departed this life on Friday, October 21, 2022. He was born December 31, 1926 in Orlando, Florida. He was the oldest of three children born to Abraham Frederick Peterson, Sr. and Pearl Hawkins Peterson. He was predeceased by his mother, father, sister Prudence Peterson Pledge and brother Eugene Gordon Peterson.
He attended Orange County, Florida public schools and is a graduate of Jones High School. He continued his pursuit of education at Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He earned a D.D.S. degree from Meharry Medical College in 1952.
He was appointed a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the United States Navy, Dental Corps, on December 13, 1951. He also served in the Naval Reserves until Honorably Discharged on November 23, 1966. He served in the United States Navy in the United States and overseas.
Pete was married to the late Harriette Annetta Derrick Peterson. He was predeceased by Harriette, his beloved wife in 2016. From this union he leaves four children Saundra Pearl Peterson of Greensboro, NC, Cheryl Lynn Peterson of Nashville, TN, Becky Jo Peterson-Buie (Donald) of Greensboro, NC, and Abraham F. Peterson, III of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, one grandchild, Lauren Nicole Buie Cramer (Matthew) and two great-grandchildren, Matthew Kyle Charles Cramer, Jr. and Vivian Daphne Buie Cramer of Glen Burnie, Maryland. In addition, Pete leaves nephews, Fred (Sondra) E. Derrick, Ill of Nashville, TN, Dennis (Sandra) L. Derrick of Nashville, TN, first born niece Meroy Pledge Hudson (James) of Orlando, Florida, great-niece Kembeley Hammonds (Richard) of Orlando, Florida, great-nephew Tashi Williams of Tallahassee, Florida, nephews Gordon Pledge (Jackie) of Orlando, Florida, Roderick Pledge of Orlando, Florida, Eugene G. Peterson, Jr. of Niceville, Florida, Brian F. Peterson of Lakeland, Florida, as well as a host of other relatives and friends.
Dr. Peterson was an instructor at Meharry Medical College for over twenty-five years. He was the Associate Dean of Meharry Dental School. He was honored by the Kappa Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. for his 24 years of loyal and dedicated service to Meharry Medical College on April 23, 1976. He also served as the Dental Director for the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute from which he retired. Dr. Peterson served as a proctor of the Administration of the National Dental Examination for sixteen years. He presented papers at the National Dental Association, John A. Andrew Clinic, Pan Tennessee Dental Association and the Capital City Dental Society. He is a Past President of both the Capital City Dental Society and the Pan Tennessee Dental Association.
Dr. Peterson was a member of the following organizations: Capital City Dental Society, Pan Tennessee Dental Association, National Dental Association, Beta Kappa Pi Honorary Dental Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honorary Dental Society, Urban League, NAACP, and UNCF.
He was a Prince Hall Mason, a member of The Apollo Club and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He was awarded the 50 Years Membership Award by the Grand Chapter in recognition of his support and devotion to Fifty Years of exemplary service to the ideals, principles and precepts of the great Fraternity on November 12, 1996. The Capital City Dental Society celebrated him at their 2011 Legends in Dentistry Award Program on April 29, 2011.
Pete and his siblings grew up in a home where church attendance was a Peterson requirement. In his youth, Pete was a member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida where his mother was the church pianist. Following his marriage to Harriette, he joined John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. After several years, he moved his membership to Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church. He was an avid fisher and bowler. He encouraged all his children to get a good education and to make sure they love their career choice. He gave thanks to God for his divine mercy and blessings on the Peterson, Pledge and Derrick families.