LaVerne Martha Peterson, age 88, of Cokato, passed peacefully into heaven in the early morning of Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. She was surrounded by her husband, Orville, and their children, at home.
Family, friends, and neighbors are invited to join a time of visitation Friday, Aug. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.
There will be a memorial celebration service at First Baptist Church in Cokato, Saturday, Aug. 22. Viewing will begin at 10 a.m., with the celebration of LaVern’s life starting at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Stockholm Lutheran Church Cemetery. A light lunch will be served and a time of fellowship will follow in the First Baptist Church reception hall.
Arrangements celebrating LaVerne’s life are through Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.
LaVerne was born Nov. 21, 1931, six miles north of Cokato, in the farm house of her parents, Albert and Martha Johnson. She was the youngest and only daughter, with two older brothers, Donald and Russell.
After graduating from Cokato High School, LaVerne married the love of her life, Orville Peterson, Dec. 17, 1949. They made their lifetime residence on Orville’s family farm, six miles south of Cokato. The following November, they welcomed their first child. This was the beginning of establishing their family with seven children: Larry, Jane, David, James, Gina, Joel, and Mari.
Early in their marriage, LaVerne faithfully served her family, raising their children at home. During this same time, she pursued a nursing career to become a LPN, graduating in 1961 from the Litchfield Hospital LPN program. After graduation, she worked for several years in the Dassel Clinic.
Serving her family and her church family were always the center of her life. She was a member of First Baptist Church and through the years was frequently seen playing the piano, singing, and accompanying vocalists and Orville on his musical saw. Her love of God, her family, and her community, were always a priority and she thrived in hospitality.
Whether you knew LaVerne your entire life, or just met her, she always made you feel like family. She is known for making the best animal-shaped pancakes, giving the perfect back scratch, serenading people with music, always remembering your favorite cake to make for your birthday, and greeting you at the door to invite you in for a meal or a sandwich.
In her free time she loved gardening, fishing, and travel. In retirement years, LaVerne and Orv traveled throughout the United States and visiting family. Overseas travel included a trip to Europe, a Caribbean cruise, and a memorable trip to the Holy Land and Mediterranean in 1977.
LaVerne was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Martha; her two brothers, Donald and Russell; sisters-in-law, Lorraine, and Betty; nephew, Carmen; and great-grandson, Regan.
She is survived by her husband, Orville; her children and their spouses: Larry (Sue) Peterson, Jane (Dwight) Dahlman, David (Pam) Peterson, James (Sue) Peterson, Gina (Steve) Gahnz, Joel (Carrie) Peterson, Mari (Larry) Okoro; 26 granchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.