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Pickett Spearheads Bill to Name Part of Route 220 after Local Veteran, Community Volunteer
HARRISBURG – Legislation to honor the memory of a local public servant and military officer from Sullivan County is on its way to the state Senate after passing the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today, said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), author of the proposal.

House Bill 1713 would designate a portion of State Route 220, from State Route 405 in Hughesville Borough, Lycoming County, to State Route 42 in Laporte Township, Sullivan County, as the Lt. Commander John J. Peterman Memorial Highway.

“Lt. Commander Peterman was more than just a local veteran who spent time serving our country during World War II, training future submarines and making our world safer, as he was also a dedicated community volunteer and public servant,” Pickett said. “John’s legacy will be felt both in the sea, which seemed to be his second home, and all around Sullivan County. I am honored to sponsor this legislation in his memory, as a fitting way to say thank you for all he has done for our community.”

Peterson passed away in August 2015 at the age of 92. Born in Sonestown, he graduated from Sullivan Highlands School in 1941, and 11 days later, enlisted in the U.S. Navy. John was initially assigned to the USS Flying Fish SS229; and while aboard, John made nine war patrols, having a part in the Battle of Midway, patrolling the Truk Lagoon off the Caroline Islands and patrolling in the Sea of Japan. In total, Peterman’s distinguished naval career lasted 31 years, including time spent as a torpedo instructor. In 1955, Peterman became a commissioned officer, serving at ammunition depots in New Jersey and California. He also spent time on the USS Henrico APA45 as a gunnery officer, and then on the USS Sperry AS12 as a weapons repair officer. He served the last five years of his Navy career as an underwater weapons officer in Newport, RI.

Upon retiring in 1972 as a lieutenant commander, he returned home to his native Sullivan County, where he served a term as county sheriff and as a Laporte Township supervisor. He was also active politically and with numerous local organizations, including the Sullivan County Democratic Committee, and the American Legion Post 601, Sonestown, where he served as post commander, treasurer and most recently as chaplain.

Peterman was also a member of the New Albany VFW; the U.S. Submarine Veterans Association (USSVI), Williamsport; North Mountain Sportsman Association; Consolidated Sportsman of Muncy Creek; and the Valley United Methodist Church, Muncy Valley. He was also a volunteer at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, often giving the children a living history lesson and making them “honorary submariners.”

He is survived by his wife, Mary, and they would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last fall.

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Jennifer Keaton /
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