MODESTO — Nearly 200 people gathered Saturday night to honor Harold Peterson III on his retirement from Community Hospice. The speakers included one of his colleagues from his 23 years at Tri Valley Growers.
David Benn, the president of Sutter Health Central Valley, was the administrator at Memorial Medical Center and on the hospice board when Peterson was hired. He recalled enticing Peterson to first work as a consultant. He said Peterson went on to lead, not just manage, the large nonprofit.
Benn called Peterson "an icon of community service" for his many contributions to Modesto.
Marian Kaanon, who worked under Peterson before becoming the head of the Stanislaus Community Foundation last fall, said his focus was not on outcome or productivity, but on quality of care. "It had nothing to do with numbers," she said.
Those attending also heard about Peterson's military service in Vietnam and Korea and about the high priority he gave his family.