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Lebanon Soup Kitchen manager’s sudden death shocks associates

Randy Peterson, manager of the Lebanon Soup Kitchen, died suddenly May 12.
He was 52.
Peterson had managed the SKIT, as it was known, since June of 2019. Prior to that he had worked for Fred Meyer for 29 years throughout the Pacific Northwest.
He and his wife Brenda, who were high school sweethearts at Oakridge High School, had one daughter, Charise, and son-in-law Kelly Blodgett, and five grandchildren, Adelynn, Maggie, Eliza, Lucas and Samuel.
Peterson loved cooking and baking. He maintained a small cake decorating business called Papa Daddy’s, in which he created cakes for family and friends.
He was a member of Southside Church of Christ, where he was involved in many ministries including Celebrate Recovery and Mothers of Preschoolers.
“Randy was a godsend,” said Soup Kitchen board member Nancey West, adding that Peterson “just jumped in when the numbers started going up after everybody lost their jobs. He just started putting together ideas and connections, networking with people to bring in more food and to have more food go out.
He had a heart for it and he put his heart and soul into it, not just in serving but in loving people. It was quite a shock.”
Eric Erickson, a friend and fellow church member, who was a leader with Peterson in Celebrate Recovery, said, through tears, that Peterson “had a heart as big as he was,” which was evident in his work at the soup kitchen.
“He loved feeding (people) and it was a joy to him. What he’s built just in a year here is amazing. He raised the bar here.”
Zane Ridings, pastor of First Christian Church where the soup kitchen is, called Peterson’s death a “tragedy.”
“The thing that really made him stand out was the way he built connections and helped create community here, and get people involved that before hadn’t been.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover costs associated with his cremation and other expenses.
Lebanon Local Staff