Russ Peterson – a teacher to hundreds, a mentor to many, and a friend to all – died December 10, 2020 at Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is survived by his loving wife and three devoted children. He was 74.

Born June 14, 1946 in Los Angeles, California to Fred Harvey and Ethel Gloria Peterson. Russ was a loyal public servant from the beginning to the end. He was happiest when he was in uniform, in serving and protecting.

Educated at Arroyo High School, Ventura College, Moorpark College, New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy, Ventura County Sheriff’s Academy, he was wise beyond his education, and people of all ages and stations in life sought his advice and benefited from his counsel.

He will be remembered for his teasing jokes, his wildly entertaining stories, his powerful testimony, his unfailing work ethic, his generous smile and his willingness to come at any time of night to help any neighbor in need, and then to lie about having already been awake.

In his later years, when his failing health robbed him of his strength and stamina, it also gave him a softness we treasured. During this time, he taught us patience and allowed us to show him a small measure of the service he had long showed all of us.

His memory will be cherished and kept alive by his adoring eternal wife and longtime caretaker, Hazel Peterson; children: Karen Ermshar, Steve Horner and Doug Horner; four grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sister, Gail Pye; and nieces: Jenny, Lisa and Becky.

The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at Mountain View Regional Medical Center for their dedication and eternal care.

Friends are invited to celebrate Russ’s life in Truth or Consequences and to be a part of the procession starting at Kirikos Family Funeral Home on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. and leading to Vista Memory Gardens Cemetery for the burial service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute donation to the Truth or Consequences Police Department, 507 McAdoo, T-or-C, NM 87901.

Arrangements are by Kirikos Family Funeral Home, Inc., 303 N. Cedar St., T-or-C, NM 87901. For online memorial messages please visit

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