Roger D. Peterson
Roger D. Peterson, 94, Lake Mills, passed away peacefully Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, at the Lutheran Retirement Home, Northwood. A funeral service for Roger will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, at Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, with Pastor Anthony R. Scalisi of West Prairie Lutheran Church officiating. Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at Schott Funeral Homes-Mittelstadt Chapel, Lake Mills, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Burial will be held at West Prairie Cemetery, rural Leland, with Veteran Honors performed by the Leland V.F.W. Post 6161 Honor Guard. Memorials may be directed to The Gideon’s International.
Roger D. Peterson was born May 14, 1929 in Leland, to Melvin and Myrtle (Olson) Peterson. He was baptized June 16, 1929 and confirmed May 21, 1944 both at West Prairie Lutheran Church, rural Leland. He attended Fisher and Hugelen Country Schools and graduated from Forest City High School in 1947.
Roger was drafted into the United States Army and served as a heavy equipment operator. He was in 116th Combat Engineers, in Korea from 1951-1953. He was promoted four times and achieved the rank of E-5, Sergeant. Since 1954, he has been a life-long member of V.F.W Post 6161, Leland. He held various officer positions, as well as Commander. He helped build the present post building and did many fundraisers, like pancake breakfasts. He also participated in parades and honor guard duties for veteran funerals.
Roger returned home to work on the family farm and started Peterson Excavating, which included tiling, backhoe, and dragline work. His business transformed into Peterson Construction, where he was a dealer and general contractor for Kensett Homes. For 16 years he also owned a sanitation business serving Kensett, Grafton, and portions of Manly. He also ran a snow removal business and drove a school bus for LMCS for many years. Anyone that knew Roger knew that a hammer and a helping hand were always nearby.
On Oct. 7, 1960 he was united in marriage to LeAnn Holstad at Trinity Lutheran Church, rural Thompson. They joined Salem Lutheran Church in 1961. Roger was always active with the church. He was a member of Men’s Brotherhood, taught Sunday school, helped with Luther League, was a member of the 79er’s couples church group, a Stephen’s Minister and participated in numerous Bible studies. In 1989 he joined the Forest City Gideon’s camp. He held various cabinet positions, promoted jail ministries in Fort Dodge and regularly visited the Winnebago County jail on Saturday mornings. He was a “fisher of men” leading many to accept Christ into their lives. In recent years, Roger was a chaplin for the Truck Stop Ministries at the Trail’s Truck Stop, Albert Lea, Minn. He enjoyed visiting with truckers and hearing their life stories. Between all of this work he was diligent to keep up with his Dad jokes.
Roger and LeAnn enjoyed traveling, especially to see their children and grandchildren. Special trips included their 25th anniversary trip to Oregon, cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska with their son, Michael, and his family, and family gatherings in Brainerd, Minn. He also enjoyed tinkering in his shop, caring for his yard and garden, so he could donate produce to family, friends, the food bank and senior citizen center.
Roger is survived by his loving wife of 63, LeAnn; his children: Mark Peterson, Maple Grove, Minn.; Michael (Mary Jean) Peterson, Ft Walton Beach, Fla.; Mary Jo (Brian) Huntley, Victoria, Minn.; and Matthew (Kim) Peterson, Johnston; grandchildren: Nathan Peterson, Shalimar, Fla.; (Philip) and Nicole Engesath, Gulf Breeze, Fla.; Dr. Thomas and (Ali) Peterson, San Antonio, Texas; (Jake) and Katelyn Schultz, New Hope, Minn.; Megan Peterson, Minneapolis, Minn.; Connor Huntley and Grant Huntley, Victoria, Minn.; Sidney Peterson, Iowa City; and lexis Peterson and Miles Peterson, Johnston; and great-grandchild, Evelyn Engesath, Gulf Breeze, Fla.; sisters: Marjorie VerHoef and Sharon Holland, both of Forest City; sisters-in-laws: Barbara Ziegler, Wells, Minn.; Mary Lou (Harvey) Neel, Scarville; and Beverly (Gene) Jenson, Hayward, Minn.; six amazing nephews; and five cherished nieces.
He was preceded in death by his father, Melvin; mother, Myrtle; brother, Marvin (Bud); sister, Donna Lou Kester; brother, Richard Peterson; paternal grandparents, Peter (PH) and Carrie Peterson; maternal grandparents, Charles and Trina Olson; brothers-in-law, John Verhoef and Elmer Ziegler; as well as his in-laws, Harry and Bernice Holstad.