Ronald David Peterson Sr

July 15, 1943 ~ April 13, 2022 (age 78)


Ron D. Peterson Sr, of Ottertail, died Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, at his home surrounded by his children.

Ronald David Peterson Sr was born to Robert and Jewel Peterson on July 15th, 1943, in Litchfield, Minnesota. 

He grew up in Cosmos, Minnesota where he graduated in 1961. He grew up there with 2 brothers and a sister, Bobby, Ginger and Dale. His parents moved to St. Louis Park for work when he was in high school. He moved in with some neighbors and worked on their dairy farm so he could finish school in Cosmos.  His parents bought land on Lake Minnie Belle were his family and relatives spent a lot of time.  There were large family gatherings there on a regular basis.  Every year the family got together for the bass fishing opener on Memorial Weekend.  This led to multiple competitions, discussions, disagreements, and a lot of fun.  They would also return in the fall for ducks, pheasants, and deer hunting.

In high school he competed in football, basketball, and wrestling. They only had wrestling for one year, but he made it to the regional tournament and began his future interest in the sport. He always enjoyed sports and liked the competition.

After graduation he married his high school sweetheart, Joy Anderson. They were united in marriage on September 8th, 1962, in Cosmos.  They spent a lot of time together and raised 4 children.  They were both active in the community with friends and family. They were happily married until her death on June 10th, 2012. 

After Cosmos they moved to the Twin Cities where he attended Augsburg College.  He participated in football and received his degree in biology, physical education, and teaching. It was also where he was introduced to one of the better college wrestling programs in the state.

In 1966 they moved to Maynard, Minnesota where he began his teaching and coaching career.  He taught biology and physical education.  He became the athletic director, coached football, track and wrestling in the town of 500. He spent a lot of time with the kids and developing sports in Maynard.  It is also where he took up golf with his good friend Jeff Price.  He used to have his kids shag golf balls for him behind the school where they practiced.

In 1975 they moved to Truman, Minnesota where he continued his education and coaching career.  He taught biology and physical education, coached and eventually became the athletic director. His coaching career was highlighted by a state championship in football at Prep Bowl I in 1982.  He enjoyed success in wrestling, football and golf. He sent some good athletes off to college to continue their development. 

In 1985 they moved to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota where he held the athletic director’s position and re-started the wrestling program.  He eventually moved to the Dean of Students position and retired in 2000. After retirement, he continued with his love of working with young people.  He helped coach youth wrestling, football and helped with Ronita’s dance studio.  He also began driving bus for sporting events in Detroit Lakes and Perham.

In Detroit Lakes they were able to accomplish their dream of living on a lake and build a home on Lake Sallie.  A lot of time was spent fishing and hunting in the area.  Some of his favorite outings with friends and family included pheasant hunting in ND, chasing elk with is bow in the west, shore fishing in Devils Lake, fishing in Alaska and fishing from the dock with his grandchildren.

His family was an important part of his life.  His immediate family of children: Ron Jr, Rachael, Ranette and Ronita.  That family grew in to 12 grandchildren and multiple events that he loved to attend during his time in retirement.  His grandchildren included Ron and Lori’s family of Jordyn, Zachary and Joshua, Rachael and John’s family with Paige and Sara, Ranette and her children TJ, Grady and Brock, and Ronita’s kids Colton, twins Jaden and Hudson, and her youngest Addison. His grandchildren were all active outside of school, and he spent a lot of his time helping where he could and traveling to the different events.

His siblings Robert (deceased), Virginia and Dale were a big part of his life and they continued to gather even after work had drawn them to different parts of the country.  They took turns every few years to gather at one of their houses for a reunion and spend time together.

Ron had a busy life and was an outgoing person.  He enjoyed what he did and the people he did it with.  He had a good life.




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 Service Program


May 1, 2022

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
David-Donehower Funeral Home
609 US Hwy 10 East
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

May 2, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St Paul's Lutheran Church
500 6th Ave SW
Perham, MN 56573

Memorial Service
May 2, 2022

11:00 AM
St Paul's Lutheran Church
500 6th Ave SW
Perham, MN 56573

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