Gary Wayne Petersen of Pete’s Towing passed away on Sept. 2, 2020, and his memory was honored with a huge send-off over the weekend.

According to BJ Bjorneby, a “very impressive tribute to a Des Moines legend and wonderful man was held on Sunday morning, Sept. 13, 2020, when 90 tow trucks from as far as Bellingham paid their respects to a leader in the industry by leading a procession to his final resting place at Washington Memorial Cemetery in SeaTac.”

A memorial for Gary was held online via Zoom.

“We are so sad to hear about the passing of Gary Wayne Petersen, owner of Pete’s Towing Service,” Des Moines Parks, Recreation & Senior Services said. “We would like to thank Pete’s Towing for its continued support of our community, and a special thank you to Dustin for showing us around these amazing trucks!”

“An honor to be in the parade to honor Gary Petersen as he always honored us by being in the Waterland Parade for the 35 plus years that I have been involved in creating,” Fran Woodard said on Facebook. “His Pete’s Towing trucks were always the ‘finishing stars.'”

Here’s video from the 2019 Waterland Parade showing the grand Pete’s Towing finalé of ‘finishing stars,’ where a collection of tow trucks…towed each other!:

Here’s Gary’s obit:

He was born on March 13th 1941 in Seattle Washington. He graduated from Highline High School in 1959, where he met the love of his life, Adele Ann Norman. They married on April 3rd, 1960 and just surpassed 60 years of marriage.

In 1941 Gary’s father Oral Petersen and Mary Lopan-Petersen started their business Pete’s Towing. After the death of his father “Oral Petersen in 1962, Gary and his mother continued the family business. Throughout the years Gary himself proclaimed and grew his company to what it is today. He was an established leader and mentor in the towing industry, and dedicated his life, hard work and devotion to his business “Pete’s Towing”.

Gary’s other ambitions in life were hunting, fishing and boating. He is survived by his wife Adele. Three daughter’s Cindy, Carol, Cathy and his son Gary Jr. his sister Karalee Rae. He had 8 grandchildren and 8 Great grandchildren.

Gary was laid to rest at Washington Memorial Cemetery on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 in Sea Tac.