Walter L. Peterson passed from this life to the next at the age of 95 at Bickford Assisted Living on June 9th, 2019. Born October 6, 1923, in Burlington, Iowa to Walter O. and Ruth Julia (Rosen) Peterson. He married Ellen Ruth Vanderhoof on August 19, 1962 in Iowa City, Iowa. A lifelong resident of Burlington, Walter worked at Riepe Peterson Clothing Co. for 36 years and succeeded his father as President for the last 20 years until he retired and sold the business in 1982. He was a long-time member of First Congregational Church.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Miriam and Rosenette, and his brother John. He is survived by his wife of over 56 years Ellen Peterson of Burlington; his son John D. (Jill) Peterson of Hubertus, Wisconsin; grandchildren Andrew (Courtney) Peterson, Ben (Carolyn) Peterson, Luke Peterson, and Anna Peterson; and great grandchild Coby Peterson, all who live in Wisconsin. Also surviving sister-in-law Roberta Peterson.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, he was Director and past President of Burlington Rotory Club, Director Chamber of Commerce, member Youth Development Committee, member City Beautiful Committee, Director Burlington Hospital, Burlington Credit Bureau, Burlington Shippers Association, Southeastern Iowa Council Boy Scouts, Trustee First Congregational Church and Director of National Bank. He was an avid duck hunter and member of the Crystal Lake Club.
A celebration of Walter's life will take place at 10:00 A.M. on Friday June 14 at Lunning Chapel with Reverend Jim Francisco officiating. A visitation and ice cream party will follow the service at Bickford Assisted Living. A private family inurnment will be at Aspen Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for First Congregational Church or Salvation Army. The family would like to specifically recognize Dr. Jo Ellen Hoth and the awesome Bickford Family Members who cared for Walter over the last two years.
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Ellie and family
He was certainly a gentleman and we enjoyed his acquaintance at the store...you two were a great couple. My one thought came to mind...i was so shocked when i learned he took a course in “ lawnmower repair”, Thought of him outdoors in a suit and tie! My sympathy to you.
Ellen, this is Elizabeth (Rayer) Champion, my condolences to you in the passing of your husband Walter of 56+ years. As you well know we all belonged to same church (1st Congregational Church my parents Wally & Mary Rayer and I all were members. Peach & Love to you and your family. Elizabeth (Liz) Champion
Oh dear, Mrs. P, I am so sorry for this huge loss. I sent a Christmas letter again this year and got it returned, I thought maybe you two had moved to Wisconsin. I am thankful for you and will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers through the rough weeks and months ahead.
Blessings, Dawn Hales
I worked as a CNA with Walt for a while at Bickford. He was a huge instrument in deepening my faith and walk with the Lord. He gave me a devotional, "Meeting With God" by Bruce Goettsche (I think this was his pastor at one time?) and I am reading it for the 2nd time. He also gave me another book called "Christ Amoung Other gods" by Erwin Lutzer, a book that describes the uniqueness ofJesus's life and defends claims of Christianity. (He is the way, the truth and the light of the world.) When I met Walt I had faith but it was riding the fence and had no stabilty, I was "like a wave of the sea tossed by the wind.... a double minded man unstable in all my ways," but with the encouragement of Walt, the love and kindness he shared, I made the best and most important decision of my life, to truly follow Jesus and seek Him with my whole heart. James 5:20 says "whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins." Walt Peterson is a blessed man. Thank you, Lord Jesus!
I loved his wit, and friendly jesters, always stoped by the store to share his tonight’s on the clothing business, and we always ended with a laugh. I will remember him forever and happy I got to know him. Tell him Jesus wears a 42 long ( I think) so fit him up.
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