Wilmer R. Peterson, 96 years 8 months 22 days, of Wentworth, SD died peacefully in his sleep at his home on January 29, 2021.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 2 from 5-7 at Madison Kinzley Funeral Home. Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, February 3rd, at 2 pm at Ramsey Baptist Church, Montrose, SD with burial in the church cemetery. Officiating will be Pastors Jason Anderson, grandson-in-law and Randy Gulbranson, son-in-law. Light reception in the Ramsey Fellowship Hall to follow. Masks and social distancing recommended for all services. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Kinzley Funeral Home in Madison, SD. Please check their web-site at www.kinzleyfh.com for more information.
Wilmer was born on May 7, 1924, to Reinhold and Ellen (Johanson) Carlson Peterson on the family farm in Kreutz Township, North Dakota. He was the youngest of Ellen's 4 children. In 1926 at age 1 1/2 the Peterson family moved to Brookfield Township in South Dakota and settled on family land. He attended the Brookfield Township school and was part of the McCook County Eighth Grade graduation on June 3, 1938. He had the privilege of having the same teacher Mae Knutson and the same grade student Marlene (Hetland) Mader in his class all 8 years.
After 8th grade he worked with his father and his brothers on their farms. He did chores, milked cows, field work with horses, trapped rabbits and skunks (selling their fur), and played kittenball and wrestled with neighbor cousins and friends. Wilmer also trained horses. One special horse was trained to kneel, and Wilmer could do handstands and other stunts on the horse's back.
He married Jeanette W.J. Koepsell February 10, 1948 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Madison, SD. They lived on the Peterson farm until 1974 when they moved to the north farm until 1983. They had 4 children and enjoyed going to music concerts, basketball games, wrestling meets, horse shows, and numerous other events that their children were in. Later, they also enjoyed attending grandchildren and great grandchildren activities.
Wilmer was 10 years old when Sunday School and services began at Ramsey Baptist Church. He believed in God and trusted God's promises as in Psalms 121. He was baptized at age 12 and lived his belief in Jesus as his personal Savior quietly and faithfully. He continued to attend Ramsey his whole life. He served as usher and trustee, scooping snow and helping other farmers plant or harvest crops as needed.
As an adult he was a member of Homebuilders and Men's Fellowship. He was an avid bowler and participated in both Ramsey Church and Madison leagues winning many double tournaments with friends and receiving trophies.
In 1984 Wilmer completed the required training and received his South Dakota Real Estate License and in 1990 his Federal Crop Insurance Certificate. He did a lot of farm magazine reading, attended auctioneer school, truck driving classes, and was handy-man and driver for ECCO in Madison. He loved going to stock yard sales and farm auctions mostly to visit with people.
In November 1983, Wilmer and Jeanette moved to Lake Madison where they hosted many events, family reunions, anniversary and birthday celebrations. A special memorable event was hosting their youngest daughter's wedding. Wilmer was always hospitable wherever he lived. They enjoyed traveling to see friends and family and Wilmer made many fishing trips with friends.
Farming was such a part of his life that even when they moved to Lake Madison he continued to drive out and help his son with farming for over 30 years. Wilmer had a very positive outlook on life and enjoyed talking with people. He could strike up a conversation with anyone about anything and loved telling jokes and stories. He will be greatly missed.
Survivors include children, Sandi (Randy) Gulbranson, Chadron, NE, Renn Peterson, Madison, SD, Sheila (Mike) Pottebaum, Granville, IA; daughter-in-law Denise (Daryl) Pearson; 10 grandchildren, Ryan (Chasity) Gulbranson, SD, Sara Kaye (Jason) Anderson, WY, Rusty (Lacey) Gulbranson, NE, Shana (Zane) Hall, NE, Heather Durband, SD, Holli (Anthony) Reed, IL, Sarah Jane (Jason) Rowland, IN, Travis Peterson, SD, Megan Pottebaum, IA, and Dana Pottebaum, SD; 19 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild; brother-in-law Lloyd Koepsell, Canova, SD; sister-in-law Evelyn Peterson, Sioux Falls, SD; cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father in 1958 and mother in 1975; son Ronald Lee 1984; wife Jeanette 2019; grandson Alex Pottebaum 2019; half-brother and sister-in-law Laurence and May Peterson; half-brother Clarence Peterson; sister and brother-in-law Violet and Albert Schmidt; sister-in-law Connie Koepsell; many aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Heart Association or Ramsey Baptist Church.