Robert “Rib” Peterson, 97, a longtime Racine, MN resident, died on Saturday (December 12, 2020) of complications following a lengthy illness with Dementia, at Wildwood Grove Assisted Living and Memory Care in Leroy, MN, where he had been a resident for the past 5 years.
Robert Glen Peterson was born on July 7, 1923 in Elkton, MN to Ernst and Emma (Beckman) Peterson. He moved with his family as a young boy to Stewartville, MN where he grew up and attended Stewartville Schools, graduating from Stewartville High School in 1942. He went to Winona State University for one year before joining the U.S. Navy. They sent him to Gustavus Adolphus and Columbia University in New York for Officer’s Training before serving in WW II where he was a Navigator and Captain of a Ship. Following his discharge, he attended Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis where he received his certification in Auto Mechanics. Robert was married on June 29, 1947 at the United Methodist Church in Racine, MN to Carol L. Simpson. The couple lived in Minneapolis before moving to Racine, where they raised their family and continued to make their home for many years. Rib owned and operated Peterson Service Station in Racine for 24 years. In addition, he also worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a Rural Postal Carrier until his retirement. Rib was a longtime member of the Racine United Methodist Church. He served as Mayor of Racine for 27 years. He was a member of the Racine Lions and the Stewartville American Legion. Carol was a homemaker and an Elementary School Teacher for many years in the Spring Valley School District until her retirement. The Petersons became part owners of a Great Clips Barbershop in Ames, IA which eventually led to ownership in 22 locations that kept them busy part-time in retirement. They viewed all of their Employees, Managers and General Managers like family. Rib and Carol began spending winters in Apache Junction, AZ for many years where they welcomed friends and family and became Phoenix Suns Fans. Rib enjoyed fishing with his family and followed MN sports teams. He loved gardening and had many beautiful flower beds. He also enjoyed visiting with friends and neighbors and loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Rib is survived by his wife Carol of 73 years, 2 daughters, Cindy Malone of Racine, and Julie Schnabel of Rochester, twin sons, Larry Peterson (Jana Stensland) of Garrison, MN and Lynn (Sue) Peterson of Racine, and a son-in-law David Rubenzer of rural Spring Valley, MN, 14 Grandchildren- Greg (Lisa) Campbell, Jessica (Tayte) Peterson, TJ Malone, Robert Peterson, Zephry ( Kim ) Peterson, Amanda Peterson, Matthew Peterson, Justin Rubenzer, Sara (Jason)Vennink, Lisa Malone, Bryan (Heidi) Malone, Brad (Stacey) Malone, Caleb Stensland, Hannah Stensland, 15 Great-Grandchildren, 1 Great-Great Grandchild, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lori Rubenzer, his parents, his sister, Vailey Jestus, and 2 brothers, Zephry Peterson and Carl Peterson .
Due to public health concerns no services or visitation are planned at this time. A Celebration of Life for Rib will take place next summer followed by a committal service and burial at Hamilton Cemetery in rural Racine, MN. The Peterson Family suggests memorials to Alzheimers Research. Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray F.H. in Stewartville. On-line condolences and memories of Rib are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com
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