UPDATE 4/6/2017 from the Petersen Family
“Bob ‘Soxx’ Petersen passed away on the evening of Friday, March 31st, 2017. He died peacefully at home with his beloved wife, Teri, and family close by. He had fought the debilitating and devastating effects of ALS for well over a year, fought with humor, courage, and his characteristic stubbornness. The pneumonia Bob contracted a few weeks ago proved to be too much for his body to fight off, and made what was already an incredibly difficult battle insurmountable. Physically. Bob’s spirit never wavered or died, as far as we, his family and friends, are concerned.”
The JWF is continuing to accept donations to help Teri offset the medical costs incurred over the last year. Any size donation is deeply appreciated.
*Make your tax-deductible donation online to the Bob “Soxx” Petersen Relief Fund
DONATIONS CAN ALSO BE MAILED TO: (NO PAYPAL FEES!)
The Jeremy Wilson Foundation
ATT: Bob Soxx
1028 SE WATER AVE STE 230 PORTLAND, OR 97214
Make checks payable to The Jeremy Wilson Foundation and put Bob Soxx in the note section of your check as a desired recipient. Please include your email address so we may easily get you your donation receipt.
In Loving Memory of Bobby Soxx
Robert Arthur Petersen, aka Bobby Soxx, 61, of Portland, Oregon passed away March 31, 2017 after a courageous battle with ALS. Bob was born in Lakewood, Ohio on April 25, 1955, the 4th of 9 children. Always interested in music, Bob started playing guitar in 1964 after seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. Encouraged by his uncle who played in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Bob played in several basement bands in his neighborhood, honing his skills as a musician and roadie.
In the mid 70s, Bob answered an ad in the Cleveland Scene Magazine, and so drove the Dead Boys to New York City where they recorded their first record. Although he played no guitar on the album, he managed to squeeze himself onto a hand clap track. He played in several bands and jammed with Bill Withers, Les McAnn, The Dead Boys, and The Buckeye Biscuit Band, among others.
Tired of the cold northern winters, Bob moved to Captiva Island, Florida in the early 80’s. The change of climate and lifestyle triggered a creative streak in Bob and he penned over 30 songs. While living in Florida, Bob worked on several un-released recording projects with Jaco Pastorus, in addition to founding a rock band known as JAXMYTH. After several years in Florida, Bob decided to move to Detroit, Michigan to see if he could make a living playing music.
Arriving in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1984, Bob began playing at local clubs with JAXMYTH as well as playing many solo gigs featuring his original material. With his incredible guitar chops, he quickly became a fixture in the local music scene, fronting or playing lead guitar in a number of bands, most notably JAXMYTH and The True Rumor, as well as playing drums in Miss Lee and The Country All-Stars. Besides gigging constantly, Bob was also the beloved host of the incredibly vibrant open-mic night at the much-revered Cross Street Station, where he is still very much remembered and in the hearts of patrons and musicians from decades’ past.
In 1993, Bobby Soxx moved to Portland with the sole intent of reuniting with a band he helped pioneer while living in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His arrival in Portland marked the pinnacle of the band’s creative inspiration and musical integrity, as well as their surge in local popularity. The Crackpots were a mainstay of what was affectionately dubbed “The East Side Sound” in the 90s, whose locus was the Laurelthirst Public House. The Crackpots broke attendance records and dance floors, due largely to Bob’s original songs and dynamic guitar playing. His epic solo crescendos were legendary, and the tasty seventies licks and tone were a loving and real tribute to a beloved era of music. His aplomb with quieter more sensitive songs made Bob one of the best, most versatile guitar players in Portland. As a testament to his chops, Bob earned the recognition of the Portland Music Association in 1995 for the Blues Song of the Year for his infectious “No Good Usin’ Me”.
Bob is survived by his wife Teri Thomas Petersen whom he married on June 10, 2000. He is also survived by his Mother, Jeanne (LaFontaine) brothers and sisters, Mary Junk, Mike (Cathi), Tom (Karen), Ann Golden (Greg), Pat Gideon (Chuck), Bill, John (Sherry), Susan Connolly (Pete). He is also survived by nieces and nephews Tom Junk (Michelle), Trina Brill (Matt), Margi Swellie (Matt), Brian (Jessica), Bernadette Harvey (Dan), Theresa Maher (Jim), Eric and Amanda Petersen, Alex and Andrew Golden, Michael and Emily Gideon, Matthew and John Petersen, and Grace, Rose and Peter Connolly. He was preceded in death by his Father William Petersen, sister-in-law Kristi Petersen, and nephew Gray Gideon.
In addition to immediate family, Bob is survived by and lives on in the hearts, souls and laughter of an immeasurable number of friends, country fair family, fans, and “brothers from other mothers” who mourn his early exodus. May you rock it out on the next plane, Bob, and bring us hope for a better, more peaceful future.
To honor Bob’s wishes and celebrate his spirit, the annual BobBQ/Taurus party will be held at the Portland Petersen Homestead and Three Owls Studio on Saturday, May 6th. Additional gatherings will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, Captiva Island, Florida and Manzanita, Oregon. The family requests memorials in Bob’s name be made to the Jeremy Wilson Foundation, 1028 SE Water Ave, Suite 230, Portland, Oregon 97214.
To truly honor Bob, play your favorite music loud, spend quality time with each other, and Teach Peace.
*The Jeremy Wilson Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the U.S. For U.S. citizens, in general 100% of the donations toward JWF programs, such as the JWF Musicians Emergency Healthcare Fund are deductible for federal income tax purposes. Charitable donations can reduce the taxable income and lower the tax bill of the person who has made the donation—including sponsors if a volunteer is fundraising. Not everyone will be able to deduct their charitable contributions, however. You will need to itemize your tax deductions in order to claim any charitable donation.
PLEASE NOTE: Contributions made to JWF Musicians Emergency Healthcare Fund are made with the understanding that the Jeremy Wilson Foundation has complete control and administration over the use of said contributions and donated funds.