Joanne Marlys Peterson, age 89, of Cokato, died Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in St. Cloud, with her family at her side.
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they were written the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!” Psalms. 139:16
Joanne was born July 23, 1929, to Vernie and Irene (Larson) Nelson in her maternal grandparents’ farmhouse south of Cokato. She was baptized at the Stockholm Lutheran Church.
In 1937, her parents moved their family to a farm north of Cokato. Joanne often remarked that she lived all but 17 years of her life on that farm, which her son, Larry, now owns and runs.
Joanne was confirmed in the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church, and graduated from Cokato High School in 1946 at age 16. She began a lengthy and rewarding office career at age 17, when she moved to Minneapolis with her sister, Maejelle, to work as a typist for Amundson Letter Service.
Joanne married Ralph D. Peterson June 30, 1951, at Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church. While Ralph was in the army, the couple lived in Arlington, VA. During those years, Joanne worked for an insurance company just three blocks from the White House until their first child, LaDonna, was born.
The couple eventually returned to Minnesota and resided in Minneapolis, where Joanne worked in the Medical Arts building for physician C. M. Larson, chief of staff of the Swedish Hospital.
In 1964, the family moved to the farm where Joanne grew up. Joanne then worked for C&H Ag Service in Cokato for 24 years as an accountant and office manager. She retired from that position in 1996.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23
Joanne was known for her work ethic. In addition to working full time, raising a family, and keeping a spotless home, she drove tractors and performed other farm work as needed.
She was fiercely protective and proud of her family. Joanne loved taking care of her special-needs grandson, Dean, whenever she was needed. Through many years of heart-health problems, she would remark, “I have to keep going for my Deanie.”
Joanne also enjoyed baking, cooking, and trying new recipes. She combed through magazines and newspapers looking for recipes and, in fact, the day before she passed, she clipped two recipes she wanted to try. She also read her well-worn Bible daily.
“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Joanne is loved and missed by daughters LaDonna (Scotty) Wylie, and Cynthia (Daryl) Pischner, sons Alan Peterson (special friend Joan Breczinski), and Larry (Kris) Peterson; five grandchildren: Kari (Jeremy) Wylie Johnston, Joshua (Jody) Wylie, Jonathan Pischner, Katie Peterson, and Dean Peterson; four great-grandchildren: Payton and Gracee Johnston, and Tanner and Tyler Wylie; and a sister, June Frieberg, of Red Wing.
Joanne was preceded in death by her husband in 2014; her parents; a brother, Dean; and a sister, Maejelle.
The funeral service took place Thursday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato, with interment at the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Cokato.
There was visitation Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 4 to 7 p.m. at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, and continuing Thursday at the church, one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements were with the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cokato; www.swansonpeterson.com.
“Well done, good and faithful servant . . . come and share in your Master’s happiness.” Matthew 25:21