Dena Peterson, 98, Lake Mills, Iowa

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Dena H. Peterson, 98, of Lake Mills, Iowa, formerly of Emmons, died Sunday, May 15, 2011, at the Lake Mills Care Center surrounded by her family.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lime Creek Lutheran Church, rural Lake Mills, with the Rev. Erich Hoeft officiating. Burial will take place at Somber Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, rural Lake Mills. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mittelstadt Funeral Home, 902 East Main Street in Lake Mills and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday.

Dena Henrietta (Halvorson) Peterson was born on Jan. 26, 1913, the daughter of Hans and Louisa (Dahl) Halvorson, on the family farm in Worth County Iowa. She was a faithful lifelong member of Somber Lutheran Church, rural Lake Mills, where she was baptized, confirmed, and attended the Somber Boarding School.

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On Sept. 20, 1932, Dena was united in marriage with Herbert Peterson at Somber Lutheran Church. The couple farmed in Freeborn and Worth Counties until they retired and moved into Emmons in 1964.

Dena was a proud Norwegian, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, and a wonderful and kind person who was known for her skills in the kitchen. Dena made homemade bread, lefse and flat bread. She also loved embroidery and cross stitch needle work. All her life she enjoyed planting and caring for her large, productive garden, canning the produce to be enjoyed by her family and friends.

In August of 2007, she became a resident of the Lake Mills Care Center where she resided until her death.

Dena is survived by her six children: Darlene (Duane) Kittelson of Tower, Ardis (Dick) Swenson of Thompson, Iowa, Delores (Jerry) Goette of Bricelyn, Richard (Sonia) Peterson of Fridley, Larry (Debbie) Peterson of Emmons and Diane (Erwin) Naser of Joice, Iowa; 21 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law: Margaret Severson of Blue Earth and Solveig Peterson of Albert Lea.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Herbert; daughter, Maxine and son-in-law, Robert Gregorson; two grandsons; and 13 siblings and their spouses.

You can contact the family with online condolences at