Landscapes 14

John Davis Peterson

March 7, 1938 ~ October 16, 2021 (age 83)


In Memory of John D. Peterson


John Davis Peterson, 83, of Orange, CA, passed away on October 16th, 2021 after a long and valiant battle with Alzheimer’s. He lived to see the birth of his great-grandchildren.

John Davis was born on March 7th, 1938 to John Paul & Mary Louise Peterson in Cairo, Illinois.  After graduating from Cairo High School in 1955, he went on to excel in the study Aeronautical Engineering and earned his degree from the University of Washington in Seattle.

While he was going to the University of Washington he worked part time at Boeing in the wind tunnel helping in the development of new Boeing airplane configurations.  After graduation in 1959, he landed a job as an Aerospace Engineer for McDonnell Douglas in 1967 kicking off a successful 40+ year career in the Aerospace Industry with the same company. 

In 1959, he met and fell in love with Lindalee Williams, and they quickly wed on February 20th, 1960, going on to span 61 beautiful years and create two beloved children, John Mark in 1961 and Donna Marie in 1965.

After they married, they relocated to Santa Monica, California where Mark was born then John was transferred to Huntsville, Alabama a few years later during the Apollo moon program where Donna was born.  There he worked on the Saturn SIV B Rocket the third stage of the Saturn rocket that put men on the moon.  John and Linda moved back to California and purchased their house in Orange where he worked at the McDonnell Douglas facility in Huntington Beach.  He contributed the computer programming for trajectory analysis to determine the burn time of the rocket engines to set the astronauts onto proper path to the moon.  It is a key analysis which is still used today.  He later worked on the Sky Lab and Space Station Programs doing similar analysis.  He always had a curious mind full of wonder spending his time doing his own experiments, always figuring out how one thing or another worked. He spent his relaxation time on the golf course or with his beloved family.

After retiring in 1996, John continued to work as an independent contractor for McDonnell Douglas for many years.  He spent his retirement golfing and traveling the world with his beloved wife, family, and friends.  John and Linda would enjoy spending their summers on Whidbey Island in Washington and this became a favorite spot of theirs.

John Davis is predeceased by his parents, brothers, and son John Mark.  He is survived by his devoted wife, Lindalee; his daughter and son-in-law Donna and Manny Medina; his four grandchildren, Kara Medina, Jonathan Stillman, Jeremy Medina, Brice Stillman and wife Elizabeth; his four great grandchildren, Elijah, Micah, Jersey, and Brooklen.


To donate to Goodwill Industries for John Davis Peterson, please visit:

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
October 27, 2021

12:00 PM
Fairhaven Memorial Park
1702 Fairhaven Ave.
Santa Ana, California 92705

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