Roland James Peterson, 87

Roland James Peterson was born on February 6th, 1935, in Cokato, MN.  He was the son of Theodore and Dora (Sundberg) Peterson.  Roland grew up on the family dairy farm just outside of Knapp, MN and attended the Knapp school through 8th grade, then graduated from Cokato High School in 1953.   Roland joined the army and was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey.  It was during this time that he met, fell in love with and married his wife, Rosalie Naughton of Clifton, NJ.  After completing a tour of military duty, Roland and Rosalie moved back to Minnesota to start a new life and family.  After working a few odd jobs, Roland went back to school to earn a technical certificate in computer programming. This led to programmer positions first at Benson’s Optical and later, Northwest Airlines (Delta).  He retired from Northwest Airlines in the mid-1990’s.

Roland and Rosalie had two sons, Brian and Scott, with whom they established a home on a hobby farm near New Market, MN in 1970.  Along with planting and harvesting a variety of crops on his 35 acres, at various points Roland also raised sheep, beef cattle, chickens, guinea hens and a goat.  But what he enjoyed most was tinkering with his collection of lovingly restored two-cylinder John Deere tractors, attending auctions and tractor shows with his wife and many tractor buddies, and always keeping an eye out for that next old two-cylinder John Deere needing his keen mechanical skills to bring it new life.

More recently, Roland moved back to Cokato to be closer to caring family and friends, who could help make sure he was safe and well-cared for as his eye-sight began to fail. He received wonderful assistance and care from the staff at Edgewood Gables Retirement community.

Roland died peacefully on May 23, 2022 at the age of 87.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Dora, wife, Rosalie and son, Brian.   Roland is survived by his son, Scott (Elizabeth) Peterson and their children, Grace and Grant, Brian’s son, Conard (Nichole) and their daughter Liara, siblings Patricia (Ed) Schmidt, Janice Styve, and Harvey (Glenda) Peterson. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, July 14 at North Crow River Lutheran Church with visitation 1 hour prior to services at church. In lieu of flowers, you are encouraged to donate to the charity of your choice.

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