DR. ROBERT A. PETERSONDr. Robert A. Peterson passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013
Dr. Robert A. Peterson passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at St. Michael's Health and Rehabilitation Center.
He was born in Virginia, Minn., on Aug. 17, 1915,
Robert grew up during the Great Depression and like so many others who lived during that time, knew the value of hard work. He surely had sisu.
He and his wife, Irma, bought lakeshore on Lake Vermilion next to his parents' property when there were no roads. In the early years, before they built a cabin, Robert and Irma used to walk over a mile to their property on Lake Vermilion carrying both children and supplies on their backs.
Robert loved Lake Vermilion, where he enjoyed saunas with his family, building multiple additions on his cabin, building terraces using rock hauled from Pine Island, chopping wood, burning brush, picking blueberries, and especially planting trees.
Robert continued to plant trees at Lake Vermilion well into his 90s. He hardly ever watched TV, but he loved to listen in the evening to shortwave radio broadcasts from Australia to England interspersed with Cardinal baseball games from St. Louis.
Robert and Irma made 17 trips to Australia to visit their daughter, Mary Ann and her family.
Robert was a man of modest, quiet dignity. His greatest loves were his wife, Irma, and his family. He was a classy man who was thankful for what he had and he was always respectful of others. He gave his family not only encouragement but steady, reliable love. He gave the property at Lake Vermilion, which he and Irma loved so much, to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a private man who only wanted good things for his family.
Robert graduated from Roosevelt High School, Virginia Jr. College and the University of Minnesota, where he earned his doctor's degree in dental surgery. He started practicing dentistry in Virginia with his father, Otto, and continued to practice until he was 75 years old. No one who could not afford to pay was ever turned away. Prior to breaking his hip at age 94, Robert lived independently in his house. He washed his clothes, cleaned his house, shoveled snow, cut the grass and hedge. At 94, Robert had 20/20 vision and was still driving.
Robert's service project during his presidency of the Virginia Rotary Club won a Paul Harris Award from Rotary International. In addition to working on service projects with his fellow Rotarians, Robert had the pleasure of attending more than 25 Goodwill meetings in Winnipeg, Canada. In addition, he was a founding member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church.
Enough thanks cannot be given to the staff at St. Michael's Health and Rehabilitation Center for their wonderful caring manner, devoted affection and love for Robert during the last two years.
All of Robert's families, including his great-grandchildren, know the joy of a sauna. This gift from Robert and Irma will be passed on for generations to come at the family saunas at Lake Vermilion.
Preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Irma, the founder of Irma's Finland House; son Robert; daughter Mary Ann; parents Otto and Lucy; and sister Mary Ann.
Survived by his son H. Jeffrey Peterson (Nancy); daughter-in-law Mary Jane Peterson; son-in-law Vasyl Shuter; grandchildren Dan Peterson (Dawn), Ray Peterson (Sara), Liisa Kolquist (Chris), Andy Peterson (Katie), Keith Peterson (Emma), Tyler Peterson (Margit), Meghan Brant (BJ), Chris Shuter, Matt Shuter (Diana), Katrina Jones (Paul), Jeffrey Shuter; great-grandchildren Jess Peterson, Cate Peterson, Kyle Peterson, Maia Kolquist, Keely Kolquist, Haley Kolquist, William Peterson, Emmi Peterson, Noah Peterson, Milja Peterson, Ben Peterson, Jack Peterson, Leo Peterson, Liv Peterson, Rachel Jones and Mikko Brant.
GATHERING OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS: 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, until the 11 a.m. Memorial service in Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church, 901 4th Street South, Virginia, MN. Pastor Nathan Sager will officiate. Spring inurnment will take place at the Greenwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, plant a tree in his memory. Memorials preferred to Shriner's Hospitals for Children, 2900 N. Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607-1435, Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church, 901 4th Street South, Virginia, MN 55792, or charity of your choice.
Family services provided by Bauman-Cron, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com .
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