Ralph John Peterson, age 98, of Dassel, passed away Saturday, March 21, 2015, after suffering with kidney failure.
He was born May 5, 1916, in Dassel, the son of Gustaf Oscar and Esther Matilda (Larson) Peterson of Knapp and Stockholm. Ralph was the fifth born of seven siblings.
He grew up in Dassel, and attended the Dassel school system through high school. Ralph graduated from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota in 1939, and worked as a pharmacist in Minneapolis.
He enlisted in the Navy shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and served as a pharmacist’s mate in the South Pacific on various ships, and then on Guadalcanal, a Japanese controlled island. He attained the rate of chief pharmacist mate by the time he was released from duty at the end of the war.
Ralph returned to Dassel in 1945, and took over his father’s business, Peterson Pharmacy. He employed many high school girls through the years, and his store was an important part of Dassel life as many folks gathered around his soda fountain to socialize.
During this period of time, Ralph also served on the board of directors of Meeker Memorial Hospital and Dassel Lakeside Nursing Home.
He operated the drugstore until he sold it in 1975. After retiring, Ralph provided fill-in relief for several pharmacists around the state of Minnesota into the 1990s.
He also was a lifetime member of the VFW, and served in various leadership roles for 69 years in the Dassel American Legion Post 364.
Ralph was a faithful volunteer at many local functions over the years; a familiar face at the ticket booths.
He moved to the Dassel Lakeside Apartments assisted living last April. In September, he moved to long-term care until his death.
Ralph was married twice and had no children. His siblings, Carl, George, Pauline, Evelyn, Eleanor, and Lowell, preceded him in death.
He is survived by 18 nieces and nephews.
Ralph loved dogs, tobogganing, hunting, and fishing, especially ice fishing with his friends on Lake Washington. His cheerful can-do attitude will be missed.
Ralph will be remembered as a generous, kind, and thankful man, who served the best cherry Cokes ever!
A memorial service will take place Thursday, April 2 at 11 a.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel. There will be a time for visiting and fellowship, beginning at 10 a.m. at the church. Private interment for the family will take place in the future.