Charles R. Peterson(1926 - 2013)

Charles R. Peterson

Charles R. Peterson, 87, of Brookings, passed away on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at the Neighborhoods at Brookview, in Brookings. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, December 28, 2013 at Ascension Lutheran Church in Brookings. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church starting at 10:00 am. Rude's Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Charles Richard Peterson was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 26, 1926, the oldest of three children to Richard M. and Portia Hazel (Martin) Peterson. In 1929, he moved to Cokato, MN where his father assumed leadership of the State Bank of Cokato, that his grandfather and namesake had been associated with since 1893.

He attended Cokato Public School and graduated in 1943. Following a year of attending the University of Minnesota, Charles enlisted in the United States Navy, serving until 1946 in Navy Electronics, preparing airplanes for flights to Hawaii and subsequent invasion of Japan, had that been necessary. He did not serve abroad because of the termination of WWII.

Following his discharge from the US Navy he returned to college on the G.I. Bill and graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, MN in Economics in 1949 and from the University of Pittsburgh with a Masters in Retailing in 1950. He first worked professionally for the J.L. Hudson Company in Detroit and then the J.C. Penny Company in Waverly and Mason City, IA. From 1956 to 1978 he worked as an electronics buyer/contract manager for Honeywell Inc. in the Twin Cities. He was very proud of the role he played in several strategic defense and space contracts. Charles retired from Honeywell in 1978 and joined Daktronics in Brookings as a buyer, serving there for 10 years. Following retirement he continued actively monitoring world business as a private investor.

Charles was united in marriage on December 27, 1964 to Carol Jean Willts in Sibley, IA. The Petersons had no children.

He is survived by his wife Carol Jean Peterson, Provost Emerita of SDSU; one brother, Bruce (Lee) Peterson of Cokato, MN; one sister, Carolyn Ruggles of Roseville, MN; three sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law on Carol's side of the family. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers-in-law.

Charles was a very serious big game hunter and environmentalist, having hunted large game extensively in North America. He long supported game restoration programs through memberships and monetarily. He was widely traveled and was an avid reader. Charles was an active member of Brookings Rotary and Ascension Lutheran Church. He was also very interested and proud of his Scandinavian heritage and had direct connections to Swedish and Norwegian relatives. He loved the music of Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) choir and he and Carol made regular trips to their Christmas Festival until his health no longer permitted that.

Memorials may be directed to the SDSU Foundation for a Wildlife and Fisheries Scholarship in the name of Charles R. Peterson.

Condolences may be sent to the family through

Published in The Argus Leader on Dec. 22, 2013