Beth Ann Peterson of Bock, formerly of Cambridge and Braham, died on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. She was 59 years old.
She was born in Braham on Oct. 19, 1961, the daughter of Kenneth and Caroline (Olson) Peterson. She grew up in the Peterson home on the edge of Braham and was a special gift to her family having been born with special needs. Based on choices that her parents made and were echoed in evolving attitudes in society for children with her condition she had many opportunities to live a full and productive life. She blessed many in the communities she was a member of as a result.
In her early life she attended special education classes being newly formed at that time in Braham and surrounding communities. Stanchfield Baptist Church provided Sunday school classes as well. She loved her church community. They loved her as well. Long after her parents had passed, members of the church helped see to it she was able to attend services in Stanchfield. She was one of the first special education students mainstreamed to graduate with her class at Braham.
She excelled at tumbling in Special Olympics at a very young age. Somersaulting came natural to her. She enjoyed swimming, biking, bowling and going to camp. She loved to draw and had a distinctive way of signing her name -- like a pictograph. She enjoyed her family – Mom and Dad, her brothers, cousins and later in-laws, nieces and nephews as well. She had a special relationship with her cousin Jane Lindquist. She accepted the circumstances of life like Dad and then later Mom’s passing with grace. She was fond of saying she had three brothers after Mom and Dad passed. She had an especially close relationship with her oldest brother Daryl who served as her guardian and advocate later in life. He made sure she had outings for family events and overnights as long as she was still able.
She enjoyed family games like Uno and she was liable to win. She loved to take pictures and created many photo albums. She didn’t miss a beat when the technology evolved to digital. She loved dogs -- especially Pepper the family pet growing up. She also loved listening to music and watching classic movies. The music was heavy on the church music side – she nearly drove her brothers crazy playing the same records over and over again growing up.
Her cheery disposition and kindness seemed to attract friends and fans wherever she went -- church, school, work and the nursing home visiting Mom later in life. She had a way of setting you straight on the proper attitude toward things with some quirky statement or just her example.
After schooling in Braham, she began working at Industries Inc. in Cambridge still living with Mom and Dad for a number of years. She had many friends and social outings in the Industries community and broader community as well. She developed a special closeness with Carol Hanson who visited with her weekly for many years.
After leaving home in Braham, she lived in Cambridge in group and foster home settings. She spent most of this time in the household of Jeff and Kathleen Sharbono.
Over the years her health deteriorated and arthritis seriously immobilized her, but she pressed on never complaining, bravely navigating steps and stairs and vehicle transfers. One health episode landed her at Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis. Susan Hagler, her sister-in-law was inspired to hear her saying “thank you” to everybody that entered the room -- doctors, nurses, aides and janitors. She impressed a lot of people with her positive attitude and determination.
In the last three years she resided in Bock in the foster home of Joanne and Jeff Hasser. Her mobility was impaired to the point where she could no longer work at Industries Inc. They gave her a retirement party before she moved to Bock/Milaca in 2017. More recently she suffered from dementia -- again her toughness and determination continued to impress. She entered hospice care in May 2020.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth and Caroline Peterson and great-niece, Erica Peterson.
She is survived by her brothers, Daryl of Braham, Duane (Susan) of Minneapolis and Bruce (Lori) of Norwood, Massachusetts; nieces, Cassandra (Matthew) Hanudel, Kirstin (Mark) Sullivan and Sally Peterson; nephews, Eric (Amy) Peterson, Jacob (Tomoe) Peterson, Lewis Peterson; great-nieces and nephews, Madelyn Peterson, Nathaniel Peterson, Audrey Hanudel, Jessa Peterson, Quinton Peterson, Jacob Hanudel, Riley Jo Sullivan, Murray (Tsukumo) Kikuchi/Peterson, Kenneth (Tokia) Kikuchi/Peterson, Symbri Peterson/Yanez; aunts, Adelle Olson, Phyllis Olson and Lois Peterson; many cousins and other relatives.
A private graveside inurnment was held at Rice Lake Cemetery in Braham on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020 with the Rev. Bruce Thompson leading the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to: the Stanchfield Baptist Church (38850 Midway St. NE Stanchfield, MN 55080) or Industries Inc. (601 Cleveland St. S, Cambridge, MN, 55008). Arrangements are by the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham. Condolences may be posted at www.aifuneralhome.com