Demaine Funeral Home – Fairfax

10565 Main ST, Fairfax, VA


Robert Darden Peterson Jr.

April 15, 1951January 20, 2020

Robert Darden Peterson, Jr. (Bob) salesman, home renovator, and motivator to many, died peacefully in his home in Fairfax, VA, at age 68, on January 20, 2020 to be with his Lord and Savior, after an 18-month battle with ALS.

Born in Ft. Worth, TX on April 15, 1951, the only son of Col Robert Darden and Lillian Louise Jones Peterson, of Jonesboro, AR, and middle sibling with six sisters, the family was relocated often by the US Air Force, including 2 years in Guam, where he watched his father fly daily dangerous missions to Vietnam. After graduating locally from Ft Hunt High School, he attended United States Military Academy at West Point to pursue his own military career.

Robert spent 20 years as an Internal Auditor/Investigator in various government and private assignments, then changed careers and became a Home Improvement Contractor, selling and delivering jobs including anything from roofs to concrete to kitchens and additions. He was known locally for finding work for the less fortunate, anyone who asked. He would pair them with Master Tradesmen, often leading them to pursue the trade themselves.

Late in his career and after the love of his life retired from her own career in Fairfax County Public Schools, Bob and Patty bought, renovated and sold run down homes in the area.

After renovating and flipping nine houses locally, his final career was cut short by the devastating ALS diagnosis in July 2018. ALS rapidly progressed from one muscle to the next confining him to a wheelchair by May 2019. Since then every day has been a daily battle to survive, until he was mercifully called to Heaven on Jan 20, 2020.

Robert leaves his loving wife Patricia Hilary Peterson and their adult children Hilary Louise Peterson and Robert Darden Peterson III (Heather), and four adorable grandchildren Parker Alexandra Peterson, Virginia Jane Peterson, Robert Darden Peterson IV, and Arthur John Peterson. He also leaves his foster children, Michael Downey and Maria Downey Shepherd (Jesse). He is also survived by all six of his sisters. Roberta ter Kuile (Chris), of Tryon, NC; Patricia Campbell, of Rodgers, AR; Nancy Rains, of Rodgers, AR; Lillian Downs (Ben) of College Station, TX; Helen Downey, of Flat Rock, NC; and Margaret Ann Gignilliat (Matthew), of Savannah, GA. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the Veterans Administration, Capital Caring Hospice and especially the ALS Association. The family would also like to encourage you to reach out to anyone you may know suffering from ALS and to their family members with comfort and prayers.


  • Visitation Sunday, January 26, 2020
  • Funeral Service Monday, January 27, 2020
  • Committal Service Monday, January 27, 2020


Robert Darden Peterson Jr.

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Kelley Culbertson

February 13, 2020

I met Bob and Patty through work and was always in awe of the way that he was able to look past someone's situation and circumstances to see the very best of them. He did so much for the community and truly made the world a better place for those around him. I am so sorry to hear of his passing and wish his family peace during this tough time. I will remember "Big Bob Peterson" as the larger than life and twice as loud personality that he was and smile because I know that he is up there smiling back. Love to his family, Kelley.

Emma Miller

January 28, 2020

Bobby was a wonderful cousin.
Our prayers are with the family.
Please know that our heartfelt sympathy is with each and everyone of his family and friends.

Scott and Janet Wakefield

January 27, 2020

Patty and Family,

We were saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. Please have comfort in knowing he is in a better place. He will always be in your hearts.

Mary Jones

January 22, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss it was great to see him for the last time at Aunt Charlott funeral we will be praying for all of you from Mary and Florence Jones Jonesboro Arkansas