Winifred “Jerry” Peterson, 92, of Williston, passed away peacefully Wednesday morning, December 13, 2017 at the Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Williston.
W.G. Peterson, “Jerry” was born August 24, 1925 in Starbuck, Minnesota to Algot and Clara Peterson joining his older brother Arvid and sister, Margaret. At the urging of his uncle Dr. P.O.C. Johnson the family moved to Williston to establish a creamery.
Jerry was a lively little boy and loved mischief. He kept his sister, Margaret busy watching after him. He attended Webster Elementary and loved trying to keep up with his High School aged siblings. He carried the Lutheran faith he learned as a child with him throughout his life. He was active in the boy scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. During his High School years he helped his parents run Peterson’s Creamery spending time with his sister and his niece Judy Torvie while his brother-in-law was stationed overseas. After graduating from Williston High School in 1943 he served in World War II with the Army. During these years he was stationed in the Philippines as Military Police.
Returning home he joined his brother, Arvid and father running and operating Peterson’s Creamery. Jerry never did anything in haste and after five years of dating he wed Del Vera Smith on February 14, 1952. Jerry and Del Vera welcomed three children into the world. Jerry loved little children and looked forward to the end of his work day and getting to be with Cheryl, Craig, and Karla. He loved taking them swimming at Harmon Park Pool in the summer and would fondly recall happy times raising children especially camping trips. He was proud of his children and all their achievements.
For many years he was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corp marching in many parades throughout the U.S. A Boy Scout master to many scouts, he was also involved in the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Elks, a member of Rotary, involved with the North Dakota Dairy Counsel, Rocking Chair Club, a member of the board of directors at First National Bank in Williston, various Mens groups at First Lutheran Church as well as being a lifelong member of First Lutheran Church. Jerry looked forward to the Lutefisk supper every year and enjoyed serving rice pudding at the dinner. Jerry was on various transportation committees and spent forty years trying to get Highway 2 four-laned from Williston to Minot. Once this hard work came to fruition he and his fellow members were one of the first people to drive on the completed lanes, happily driving his little black convertible on the new road.
Jerry was a devoted husband and took care of his wife all throughout their lives but especially the last few years when her health was poor. Jerry enjoyed reading, gardening, traveling, visiting with friends over a good cup of coffee and driving with the top down on his convertible. Jerry loved to bake, make candy and especially loved to make pancakes and waffles for his family. Everywhere Jerry went he brought joy to see him as he lived his life with patience, happiness and a gentleness that is unmatched.
He was a wonderful grandfather to Katie Shortall, Meggan Shortall, Arik Olson, Hannah (Peterson) Decker, Kaisa (Olson) Gallop, Sarah (Shortall) Boston and Roy Peterson. Jerry loved all five (soon to be six) of his great grandchildren but especially enjoyed visits from Elliot and Olive Boston.
Preceding Jerry in death were his wife, Del Vera Peterson; parents, Clara and Algot Peterson; brother, Arvid Peterson; sister-in-law, Virginia Peterson; sister, Margret Torvie; brother-in law, Art Torvie and son-in-law, John Shortall.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Bethel Lutheran Home for the dedicated and loving care they provided. Jerry truly appreciated the staff at Wheatland and it was their care that allowed him to live his life to the fullest this past year and a half.