In Memory of

Gerald A. Peterson

February 6, 1930 - February 27, 2020
From: Cherokee, IA
Gerald Alan Peterson, son of Mabel (Nelson) and Walter Peterson, was born February 6, 1930 on the family farm southwest of Aurelia, IA.  He attended the local schools and graduated from Aurelia High School in 1948.  He married Phyllis Lau in June of 1950 and they were parents to three children, Pamela, Kelley, and Brent.  His family was expanded to also include Kenneth Fassler, Mark Peterson and Abbie Peterson (Smith) during their teenage years.

Gerald retired from farming in 1991 and started his second career as a handyman in Cherokee, which he enjoyed.  In 1997, Gerald married Phyllis Clausen of Holstein.  With his second retirement, they traveled the United States.  Gerald enjoyed fishing and hunting, attending antique auctions, woodworking, vintage cars, and collecting German steins. 

Gerald passed away on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at Accura Healthcare in Cherokee, IA, having just celebrated his 90th birthday.  Those who preceded him include his parents, two brothers, Gene and Loren; his ex-wife, Phyllis (Lau), 2nd wife, Phyllis (Clausen); and granddaughter, Nicole Peterson.

Survivors include his three children and their families: Pamela and Timothy Christensen of Carter Lake, IA, children, Drew Christensen (Louisville, KY) and Autumn Christensen (Carter Lake, IA); Kelley Peterson Clausen of Holstein, IA, son Lance Winkel (Laguna Niguel, CA); and Brent and Mary Peterson of Cherokee, IA, daughter Natalie Peterson (Cherokee, IA); one sister, Ruth Anderson of Storm Lake, IA; and many other nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Tribute Video
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 2nd, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 300 E. Bow Dr., in Cherokee.
Pastor Jean Morse
Lance S. Winkel
Drew T. Christensen
Autumn S. Christensen
Natalie R. Peterson
Ken Fassler
Mark Peterson
Abbie Smith
There will be no visitation prior to the service, but a time of lunch and visitation will follow the service at the church.
Burial will be at a later date.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 10:26 AM
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 9:33 AM
“Gerald is my grandfather.
Gerald is the fun-loving creative man who taught me to fish and how to appreciate nature without pillaging or killing it. He taught me to play with cats, to watch the birds, and to enjoy the nature buzzing about while driving a tractor.
He helped me make my first plastic model on a trip to Chicago and instilled in me a passion to make things with my hands. He taught me how to stain and finish wood (even if my skin is allergic and I must wear gloves). He taught me to polish rocks and see the beauty hidden in so many things.
He taught me to laugh at Benny Hill and Monty Python, and our greatest laugh shared together was the scene in Dumb and Dumber when the cop pulls them over and insists on checking the contents of the open beer bottle they are carrying.
He wanted to be a Park Ranger and based on his lifelong love of nature he would have been amazing at it. But an artillery shell took his older brother’s life and changed his life forever by forcing him to adopt the mantle and become a farmer.
He made it to 90 as I made it to 45. For decades as others in his generation grew old and weak, I was amazed to witness how throughout spring and summer he’d have shorts on with youthful tanned legs of a teenager hiking everywhere, fishing, and exploring. This enthusiasm would sometimes concern our family when even in his last few months he’d get in his truck and brave a blizzard just to see if everyone was okay out on the farm.
He was a good man and he lived a full life. He wasn’t an intellectual, but for those who were curious and patient he had so much to teach. He showed me so much and I am grateful. I am fortunate to have gotten 45 wonderful and inspiring years with him, and I am honored that I got to call him my grandfather, my Papa.
- Lance Shane Winkel
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 9:32 AM
“....always smiling.....
Thinking of you all—
Tricia ”
- Tricia Vredenburg
Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 10:21 AM
“Gerry was a special person, kind, considerate, sense of humor, I enjoyed spending time with him, he will be missed by a lot of his family and friends. You have my Sympathy, Deby Baker”
- Deborah Baker
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 6:30 PM
“So sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family.”
- Bill and Darlene Anfinson
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