Wallace "Wally" Robert Peterson, age 87, of Willmar, passed away Friday morning, Dec. 14, at Bethesda Grand Nursing Home in Willmar following an extended illness.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery in Willmar with military honors provided by the Willmar American Legion Post. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. with a Masonic Service at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar and visitation will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.
Wallace “Wally” Robert Peterson was born on December 30, 1930, in Moorhead, Minnesota, the son of Louis and Augusta (Langer) Peterson. He grew up in Moorhead and graduated from Moorhead High School in 1949. From 1951 to 1953, he served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Nome, Alaska during the Korean War. After his service, Wally returned to Moorhead and began working at Town and Country Floral. In 1960, Wally was married to Kathy Lokken. They made their home in Moorhead where their first child, Kevin was born. In 1963, they moved to Willmar and partnered with the Sawyers and founded Crown Floral in downtown Willmar. They later celebrated the birth of their second child, Kim. In addition to the floral shop, they owned Hallmark stores in the Kandi Mall in Willmar and in Marshall. Kathy passed unexpectedly on December 24, 1999. On August 30, 2002, Wally married Cheryl Craite and they continued to make their home in Willmar. Wally later sold the floral business and retired.
Wally was asked by the Society of American Florists to coordinate flowers for the inaugural ceremonies of President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. He was an active member of Vinje Lutheran Church and served as an usher for many years. He was a member of the North Central Florist Association, Willmar Investment Club, Willmar Noon Lions, Sharon Masonic Lodge, Zuhrah Shrine Temple, Elks Lodge, Eagle’s Club, V.F.W. and the American Legion Post. Wally served as board member for West Central Industries, Minnesota AAA and volunteered with the Salvation Army. He enjoyed traveling and was active with the Wednesday night bowling league at the KEC. Wally loved his family and visiting with people. He also loved his work and especially delivering flowers. He will always be remembered for his happy smile.
He is survived by his wife, Cheryl of Willmar; one son, Kevin (and Mary) Peterson of Falcon Heights; one daughter, Kim Peterson (and special friend, Kelly Sundquist) of Willmar; two step-daughters, Lisa (and Jerry) Carlson of Willmar and Crystal (and Kyle) Goosmann of Willmar; five grandchildren, Sam (and Megan) Peterson, Mike Peterson (and fiancé, Maddie Schlossmacher), Leah Peterson, Tosha (and Aaron) Privette and Kerstin Davis; five step-grandchildren, Bobbi (and Dustin) Walsh, Sam (and Caleb) Swenson, Mariah (and Brandon) Pantekoek, Levi Goosmann and Paige Goosmann; two great grandchildren and nine step-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, besides other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Kathy; four brothers, Leonard, Carl, Vernon and Norman; and a son-in-law, Phil Davis in 2012.