Helping hands: Home Depot staff and community partners rally to help veteran


June Peteroli lost her husband last year to esophageal cancer.

In the aftermath, one thing she didn’t have the heart for was taking care of the projects he started outside their North Whidbey home.

June and Richard Peteroli were married 30 years. They bought their home a decade ago and proceeded to fix up the land. Richard Peteroli put in a greenhouse and garden.

He planned to replace the deck. Then the cancer came. He died less than three months after the diagnosis.

He was a Vietnam veteran, who served as a Navy corpsman on the battlefield helping Marines. He didn’t talk much about it but he was proud of that, his wife said. In all, he had a 30-year military career.

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help. So a friend asked the manager of the Oak Harbor Home Depot if they would be willing to lend a hand.

They did — joyfully.

Store employees volunteered their time on a chilly March morning to rip out the deck — which had become a safety hazard — and replace it with landscaping.

Home Depot donated the materials. C. Johnson Construction Inc., owned by Corey Johnson, picked up the refuse and paid to dispose of it.

“I’m extremely grateful,” she said. “It looks amazing. Words can’t express what this means.”

Home Depot is committed to community service projects, and the local store has donated materials and tools for various projects and supported employees who want to volunteer time, said Ambrish Singh, a Home Depot team captain. Part of his job is organizing volunteer projects.

The 10 people who showed up all did so on their days off, he said.

“It is the best part of my job,” he said. “You feel good to help out people in your community.”