Charles R. Peterson, 87

Charles Richard Peterson, age 87, of Brookings, SD, formerly of Cokato, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at the Neighborhoods at Brookview, in Brookings.

Memorial services will take place Saturday, Dec. 28 at 11 a.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church in Brookings, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church.

Rude’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be sent through www.rudesfuneralhome.com. Memorials may be directed to the South Dakota State University Foundation for a Wildlife and Fisheries Scholarship in Charles’ name.

Charles was born May 26, 1926, in St. Paul, the oldest of three children born to Richard M. and Portia Hazel (Martin) Peterson.

In 1929, he moved to Cokato, where his father assumed leadership of the State Bank of Cokato, which 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 World War II.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Charles returned to college on the GI Bill and graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, with a degree in economics in 1949; and from the University of Pittsburgh with a master’s degree in retailing in 1950.

He first worked professionally for the J.L. Hudson Company in Detroit, and then the J.C. Penney Company in Waverly and Mason City, IA.

From 1956 to 1978, Charles 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, SD 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 to Carol Jean Willts Dec. 27, 1964, in Sibley, IA. The Petersons had no children.

A very serious big game hunter and environmentalist, Charles had 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) choir, and he and Carol made regular trips to Concordia’s Christmas Festival until his health no longer permitted that.

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

He is survived by his wife, Carol Jean Peterson, Provost Emerita of South Dakota State University; one brother, Bruce (Lee) Peterson of Cokato; one sister, Carolyn Ruggles of Roseville; three sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law; nieces and nephews; and, great and great-great nieces and nephews.

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