Elbert Ralph Petersian

August 9, 1921January 7, 2020

Elbert R. Pertersian

Elbert R. Petersian passed from these earthly bounds on January 7, 2020 at the age of 98 in Fresno, California.

Elbert was a special person. He was loved by his wife Evelyn, as well as his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was a hard-working person. His love and support was always felt by his family. Elbert was a friendly person who would start a conversation with anyone he happened to meet.

Elbert was born on August 9, 1921 on a small family farm in Fresno, California. He attended Madison Elementary School and graduated from Fresno High School in 1939. After graduating from high school, he attended Fresno State for two years majoring in business. Then he started working in his family’s secondhand store.

In 1942, Elbert was drafted into World War II. He served in Europe and landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy on “D” day. Elbert was a sergeant in the United States Army. He was awarded the purple heart, bronze star, and silver star for his valor. Elbert was always proud of his service to his country. One of our fondest memories was a trip to Washington DC to see the World War II Memorial. One of Elbert’s army buddies Walt, who referred to Elbert as Pete, came to share the experience with us. As you can imagine this trip was priceless. They really were the greatest generation. Upon returning from the army, Elbert purchased the secondhand store from his family.

In May of 1948 Elbert met Evelyn Mamasian. According to Evelyn while they were dating Elbert had a habit of being late for dates. On one particular dinner date he was an hour late. So, without him knowing, Evelyn enjoyed dinner at home with her family. They went out for dinner and Evelyn ordered dinner as well as Elbert. Elbert notice that Evelyn was not touching her food and asked her why? She then informed him, you were late, so I ate at home with my family. Elbert was not late for another date.

They were married on October 9,1948. Soon they started a family, having their son Ralph and daughter Susan. That kept them busy with many activities. In 1959, Elbert began working for Foodland grocery store as a retail clerk. He enjoyed his work and retired after 24 years, in 1983.

Elbert was a member of the Fresno Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and the Shriners. He was very active in these organizations. He loved sports. He played golf and was a member of Fig Garden Golf Course. He loved watching golf, football and baseball. Most of his family are San Francisco Giants fans but for some reason Elbert liked the Dodgers.

After retirement Elbert and Evelyn took many wonderful trips with the Shriners. Some of the places they visited were Ireland, France, Italy, Hungary and many states in the U.S.A. On some of the trips they took grandchildren along.

Elbert is survived by Evelyn, his wife of 71 years; his daughter Susan Toste and her husband Paul; three grandchildren: Paul Toste III and his wife Stephanie; Theresa Toste and Sarah Petersian and three great grandchildren: Taten, Aram and Zoe.

We all loved Elbert very much and he will be missed dearly. He touched many people’s lives. Our family was truly blessed to have a person like Elbert in our lives. Rest in Peace Elbert.

The Funeral Service will be held at Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.


  • Funeral Service Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Elbert Ralph Petersian

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Bustamante

January 19, 2020

Evelyn and family,
It has been a long time since I met Elbert at the bank. You are such a lovely couple. I wish you nothing but peace and love in this moment. My prayers are with you and your family.
Love always,
Linda Bustamante

Ronald Weiner

January 16, 2020

Elbert who will always be remembered as a rare person who gave himself to others.
Kind, generous and compassionate who truly will be missed. Thank you for the privilege of your friendship for over fifty years.

John Techman

January 15, 2020

We who follow ... salute you.
On behalf of all that attended, Thanks for a great shish kebab dinner.

Don Blosser

January 14, 2020


Gaye Cissel

January 12, 2020

Oh how I loved Elbert. I knew this family in excess of 40 years and took great pride in servicing his insurance needs at Ned F Dalena’s office. Elbert and his lovely wife were what I considered good friends. Elbert touched many lives and he was loved by many. I am sending my deepest sympathy to his family. You are in my prayers and thoughts. Gaye E Cissel.