Though he served just one term as governor, Russell W. Peterson made those four years count.
Tributes to Peterson poured in following news of his death Monday night. Governor Markell issued a statement saying, “I was blessed to count him as both a mentor and a friend. He was a source of wisdom and strength.” Markell has ordered U.S. and local flags lowered to half-staff until further notice in honor of Peterson.
Senator Chris Coons says, “He was a true leader for Delaware – in and out of office – whose insight and input will be greatly missed. Russ Peterson refused to take a path simply because it was politically expedient or convenient, and expected no less from any of those who followed in his footsteps.”
Senator Tom Carper says part of Peterson’s multi-faceted legacy is found at the wildlife refuge that bears his name along the Wilmington Riverfront. “For years, for decades, and hopefully for centuries when people walk along the Riverwalk at the Christina River, and see how beautiful it is, they’ll see his statue and they’ll say, ‘Who was that guy, Russell Peterson, what did he do?’ He’s the father of the Riverfront, and the father of a lot of other things as well.”
In 2009, state leaders gathered at the Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge to cut the ribbon for the DuPont Environmental Education Center that would be used to teach kids about the environment. The event turned into an opportunity to praise Peterson for his lifetime of work on behalf of the environment and for Delaware. You’ll find a recap of that event by clicking on the video below.