Rev. Russell A. Peterson, age 87, of Chisago City, died Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, at Parmly LifePoints.
Russell was born Aug. 11, 1924 near Mankato, to Robert and Alma Peterson.
He graduated from Hector High School in 1942. He attended Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter with a bachelor of arts degree in 1952. He graduated from Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, IL with a master of divinity degree in 1955. He was ordained in St. Paul June 19, 1955.
During his 50 years as a pastor, he served the congregations of East Chain Lutheran Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, and Chisago Lake Evangelical Lutheran.
After his retirement, he served as visitation pastor for Chisago Lake and Zion Evangelical congregations.
The church was his life.
Russell was involved in many community and church-wide projects. He was on the Minnesota Synod Council, dean of many districts, and an active member of Rotary, in which he held every office.
He was the speaker at numerous Memorial Day services. He was very involved in Cursillo (Via de Cristo), where he served as spiritual director 19 times, and was one of 35 from Minnesota who went out to Salt Lake City to begin the movement out there.
Russell was grateful to have Glad with him in his ministry throughout their 60 years of marriage.
At his 50th anniversary of ordination he said, “She is a gifted teacher and counselor. I’m thankful for our partnership. Engraved on our wedding rings are the words, ‘Each for the other and both for God.’ God has been faithful, always giving what is needed for our lives. His promises never expire.”
Russell is survived by his wife, Gladys; son, Rev. Wayne (Jackie) of Plymouth; daughter, Joy (Rod) Sietsema of Lindstrom; four grandchildren, Benjamin and Kaitlyn Peterson, Ana (Mark) Hulzebos, and Glade Sietsema; two great-granddaughters, Kaja and Liara; brother, Norman (Margie) Peterson of Hector; nieces and nephews
He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Lucille Swanson.
Visitation was Friday, Feb. 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Chisago City.
Funeral service was Saturday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.
Interment was at Chisago Memorial Park.
Memorials are suggested to Zion Lutheran Church.
The Grandstrand Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.grandstrandfh.com.