Richard Peterson, 79

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 10, 2006

Funeral services for Richard R. Peterson, age 79, will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, 2006, at Calvary Baptist Church. Interment will be in the Alden Cemetery with Military Honors accorded by the Freeborn County Veterans&8217; Organizations. Visitation is 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday with a prayer and sharing time from 7 to 8 p.m. at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the services at the church.

Richard passed away Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006, at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he had been a patient the past two months battling acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). He was very grateful to the many who remembered him while there with prayers, e-mails, calls, and cards. Living in the Alden and Albert Lea area has been such a blessing to him.

Richard R. Peterson, the son of Enoch and Eveline (Carlsen) Peterson, was born Nov. 17, 1926, at his farm home north of Alden. He attended and graduated from the Alden High School in 1944.

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Richard worked on the farm until going into the Army April 5, 1946, and was discharged Oct. 4, 1947. His basic training was at Fort McClelland, Ala., and he was stationed in the Philippines from August 1946 until June 1947. He then returned to the states to serve at the Presidio in San Francisco until his discharge.

On June 5, 1949, Richard was united in marriage with Ramona Hansen at Calvary Baptist Church in Albert Lea. The couple lived on the Alma Larson farm near Alden until they moved to their present farm in 1951 where they have lived the rest of their lives and where they raised their two children. Their first home was lost to a devastating fire in 1958. Richard enjoyed farming with his brother and brother-in-law for many years until their sons were ready to help each of them farm.

Richard&8217;s first love was His Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and he was honored to serve Him at his church, Calvary Baptist in Albert Lea for many years in various positions. He was also honored to serve on various boards in the area and community. Richard was the Carlston Township treasurer for 40 years and served on the Alden School board for 12 years. He was also a co-founder with other farmers in the Alden area of the Alden Cooperative Elevator and served as its president for the first 20 years. Richard was a board member of Freeborn Mower Cooperatives Services for 40 years and Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home for 30 plus years, serving as president of both sometime during his term.

Richard had a life-changing accident in 1984 when he became a paraplegic so he had to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Thanks to his dedicated wife, his nurse, he continued to be active in those things he loved, especially visiting with people and being an encouragement to those he came in contact with. Even though he was physically handicapped, he did not allow that to handicap his spirit, his love for others, and his commitment to his Lord. He was so grateful to those who helped him during these years and sent him cards, visited him, and prayed for him. Thanks be to God!

Survivors include his wife, Ramona of Alden; daughter, Paula (Jerry) Merkouris of Valley Springs, S.D.; son, Tim (Karla) Peterson of Alden; grandchildren: Ruth Ann (Peter) Scott, Ryan (Janelle) Merkouris, Richard Merkouris, Dustin Peterson, Sonja Peterson, Rosanne Merkouris, and Chad Peterson; four great-grandchildren; his sister, Pearl (Richard) Thunstedt of Alden; and brother, Roger (Char) of Alden.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Enoch and Eveline and his brother, Howard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Calvary Baptist Church for various missions that Richard and Ramona had supported over the years.