Cover photo for Thomas "Tom" E. Peterson's Obituary
Thomas "Tom" E. Peterson Profile Photo
1954 Thomas 2021

Thomas "Tom" E. Peterson

December 12, 1954 — March 4, 2021


Thomas E. “Tom” Peterson, 66, formerly of Monmouth, IL, passed away at 5:05 pm, Thursday, March 4, 2021 at the Arcadia Care Bloomington, Bloomington, IL.

Tom was born December 12, 1954 at Monmouth Hospital, Monmouth, IL the son of LeRoy W. and Eilene J. (Robberson) Peterson.  He was raised and educated in Monmouth, graduating from Monmouth High School in 1973.  He went on to graduate from Blackhawk College in Moline, IL in 1975 with a degree in Broadcasting.

Through his life he held a variety of jobs, most recognized for his work on air for WMOI/WRAM.  He began his broadcasting career with the company in 1986 before being designated as the Farm Director in 1992.  Through his tenure with WRAM he created a new culture in local ag coverage.

He was recognized by his peers at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City Missouri with the Horizon Award.  Tom was also recognized for his work by the Academy of Country Music in the small market category, along with a host of local awards from different organizations.

Through his career he felt his greatest achievements were those where he could bring the community together.  Forever a fan of the underdog, he held the “Family Farm” in the highest of regard, advocating for and against legislation that impacted his audience.

Never knowing a stranger his mellow demeanor and inviting nature allowed him insight into the fabric of Western Illinois Agriculture.

To those that knew him they would agree, Tom was a fan.  He epitomized the word.  He shared the highs and lows of the community as he chronicled pieces of history behind a microphone.  His love for others was unabashedly worn on his sleeve.

When it came to covering local sports, he prepped for every game as though it was the most important event at the moment - whether it was Warren’s amazing playoff runs, Monmouth Baseball’s second place finish at State, or seeing longtime friend Tim Engebretson hoist the state championship trophy in 2004.

He lived vicariously through the amazing athletes and coaches he covered, once adding,  “My ribs hurt” after seeing Dan Byers take a hit in a playoff game.  Although not his primary position, covering local sports was a passion.  Tom held the athletes and coaches with the same respect and prestige as he did professionals.

Never reaching the heights of fame, his legacy will live through the words and events he felt lucky to be a part of.  His favorite joke was remarking that he had a face for radio.  By any standard he provided a local pulse for over two decades.

Survivors include his sons, Grant (Shannon) Peterson of Chatham, IL and Mitchell  Peterson of Monmouth, IL; his grandchildren, Quincy Peterson, Adam Peterson, Benjamin Peterson, Lucille Peterson, Carson Saner and Cooper Saner.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Tina Marie Peterson.

A private family interment will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Monmouth IL.  No services or visitation is planned at this time. Memorials may be given to the Thomas Peterson Memorial Fund and sent to the funeral home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas "Tom" E. Peterson, please visit our flower store.


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