The world lost a great titan and teacher when Alan Elm Peterson passed away peacefully on April 20th, 2020 at the age of 90. His generosity was profound and his leadership esteemed.
Alan Peterson was born of the Great Depression. He arrived on Friday the 13th of September 1929. Maybe it’s fitting he passed away amidst a global pandemic. Those formidable challenges built a man of resilience, integrity and compassion.
A natural entrepreneur, Alan rose to partner at Arthur Andersen in 1966 and served until 1980, when he established Peterson Consulting. In 1994 he founded Tucker Alan. He was a pioneer in the world of government contract consulting and founded the litigation consulting practice at Andersen in the early 1960’s.His accomplishments included testifying before congress and contributing to GAO reports. A “Computer World” article from 1979 quotes his insight, even though he never learned how to operate one.
Transforming business came naturally. When his high school yearbook lost funding, Alan Peterson arranged to keep the tradition alive. He was a sharp negotiator, a skilled wordsmith, and an intellectual powerhouse.
Being a lifelong student fed his yearning for knowledge. From his early childhood in Orion, Illinois to his studies at Northwestern University, Master’s in Accounting at Michigan State and an Honorary Doctorate from Purdue, Alan was both an expert and an educator. In his later years, he served as a mentor to countless young professionals cutting their teeth in the consulting world.
In 1953, he joined the Navy and moved his new bride, Milly, to Bay City, Michigan. The couple welcomed son Mark in 1956 and Doug 5 years later in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Alan had a deep appreciation for the arts. Known to quote old movies and musicals, He had a story for everything. He was the driving force bringing the famed Frida Kahlo exhibit to the College of DuPage in 2021.
More than anything, Alan Peterson believed in giving back. His generosity was legendary. From wait staff, to hospitals, to universities and scholarships, Alan’s philanthropic efforts funded endless community projects and educational opportunities.
Alan Peterson leaves behind a lasting legacy through his sons, Mark and Doug, and their wives Marcie and Edvania. He was Grandpa to Erin, Patrick and his wife Rachel, Kirsten, Matthew, Haley and Benjamin Peterson. Lucy, Meredith and Stanley Peterson knew him simply as GPop.
In death, he joins the wind beneath his wings. Wife, Milly, passed away in January 2020.
A private visitation will be held on Saturday, May 2nd with a funeral service at 2pm to be live-streamed via www.facebook.com/LEONARDMEMORIALHOME/.
See www.leonardmemorialhome.com or 630-469-0032 for details. A memorial celebration of Alan Peterson’s life will come at a later date, when it’s safe to gather again.
In the meantime, you’re encouraged to share stories at rememberingalan.com.
In lieu of flowers, consider donating to one of Alan’s beloved charities: Metropolitan Family Services of DuPage, College of DuPage Foundation or The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.