Bertil John Peterson was born on Feb. 28, 1925, south of Aurelia, the son of August and Anna (Anderson) Peterson. He was baptized and confirmed at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Cherokee, and attended school in Aurelia through the eighth grade when he joined his father on the family farm. On Sept. 23, 1945, Bertil married Vera Robertson Rud of Cleghorn at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Bertil's first love was farming and raising cattle and hogs, but his family was his main focus, and he loved to have them around as much as possible. He also served on various church and community boards.
In the 1970s, Bertil and Vera purchased a trailer at Sand Bar Beach on Big Spirit Lake, and they loved to fish and spend time with friends and family. As the family grew, they decided to purchase a cabin on Big Spirit, with a beach for the grandkids to play on. The grandchildren spent much of their summer time with aunts and uncles and cousins, and have many fond memories and funny stories to share of the times spent with their grandparents, both at the lake and farm. Due to Vera's health, she and Bertil moved into Aurelia in the late 1990's.
Preceding Bertil in death were his parents; his wife Vera on March 7, 2005; one daughter, Sandra Jean; one grandson, Brian Buenger, one sister, Marian Peterson and one brother-in-law, Kenneth Ohlson.
Survivors include four daughters, Janet Kay and her husband Norman Buenger of Holstein; Kathy Jo and her husband Ed Oie of Eagan, Minn.; Karen Lynn Hirschman of Spirit Lake, and Julie Ann and her husband Michael Johnson of Winnebago, Minn. In the 1950's, Keith Tolzin came to live with the Peterson family, and was like a son to them. Keith and his wife Jan live in Ellensburg, Washington now.
Also surviving are ten grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one brother, Harold and his wife Marilee Peterson of Aurelia; one sister, Betty Ohlson of Cherokee; one nephew and several nieces and other relatives and friends.